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School of Law

Restoring the Public: Moral Panics, Fake News, and Communications Warfare

27 February 2019

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: School of Law, Room 313, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End, E1 4NS

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Jack Z. Bratich, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

In the current concern over fake news, conspiracy theories are problematized as one of the more pernicious types of misinformation. In this talk, I revisit my work on conspiracy panics to examine a conjunctural shift in which previous modes of cultural and moral panic (based in liberal political rationality) failed to contain a proliferation of conspiracy theories. In the wake of this failure, this proliferation was met with a more extreme mode of disqualification: a communications warfare that sought to neutralize such sources. Now, a new nexus (journalism, technology companies, state security and intelligence agencies) is engaging in what I call a war of restoration. This undeclared but nonetheless operational war is waged in the name of a securitized public and has significant implications for dissent.

Hosted by the International State Crime Initiative, this event seeks to inform students and staff of new developments in the field of state crime, and to network with academics in the area of communications, propaganda and fake news.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.


For more information on this event, please email

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