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Home > Catalogue > Power, Politics, and Paranoia
Power, Politics, and Paranoia


  • 27 b/w illus. 8 tables
  • Page extent: 340 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 303.3
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: HM1256 .P69 2014
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Power (Social sciences)--Moral and ethical aspects
    • Social psychology
    • Trust--Social aspects
    • Conspiracy theories--Social aspects
    • Transparency in government

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9781107035805)

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Powerful societal leaders - such as politicians and Chief Executives - are frequently met with substantial distrust by the public. But why are people so suspicious of their leaders? One possibility is that 'power corrupts', and therefore people are right in their reservations. Indeed, there are numerous examples of unethical leadership, even at the highest level, as the Watergate and Enron scandals clearly illustrate. Another possibility is that people are unjustifiably paranoid, as underscored by some of the rather far-fetched conspiracy theories that are endorsed by a surprisingly large portion of citizens. Are societal power holders more likely than the average citizen to display unethical behaviour? How do people generally think and feel about politicians? How do paranoia and conspiracy beliefs about societal power holders originate? In this book, prominent scholars address these intriguing questions and illuminate the many facets of the relations between power, politics and paranoia.

• Examines why people are often suspicious about political and corporate leaders, covering topics such as power, trust, political psychology and leadership • Features contributions from a broad range of scientists and practitioners across the social sciences • Will appeal to those wishing to understand power and politics, and how people come to view these processes in society


1. Power, politics, and paranoia: an introduction Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Paul A. M. van Lange; Part I. Power: 2. The effects of power on immorality Joris Lammers and Ilja van Beest; 3. Do we give power to the right people? When and how norm violators rise to the top Eftychia Stamkou and Gerben van Kleef; 4. The leaders' rosy halo: why do we give powerholders the benefit of the doubt? Pamela K. Smith and Jennifer R. Overbeck; 5. 'Power corrupts' revisited: the role of construal of power as opportunity or responsibility Kai Sassenberg, Naomi Ellemers, Daan Scheepers and Annika Scholl; Part II. Politics: 6. Never trust a politician? Collective distrust, relational accountability, and voter response Susan T. Fiske and Federica Durante; 7. Political distrust: the seed and fruit of popular empowerment Fouad Bou Zeineddine and Felicia Pratto; 8. All power to our great leader: political leadership under uncertainty John J. Haller and Michael A. Hogg; 9. Those who supported and voted for Berlusconi. A social-psychological profile of the willing followers of a controversial political leader Antonio Chirumbolo and Luigi Leone; 10. A growing confidence gap in politics? Data versus discourse Rudy B. Andeweg; Part III. Paranoia: 11. Misconnecting the dots: origins and dynamics of outgroup paranoia Roderick M. Kramer and Jennifer Schaffer; 12. Political paranoia and conspiracy theories Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham; 13. The social dimension of belief in conspiracy theories Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Paul A. M. van Lange; 14. Examining the monological nature of conspiracy theories Robbie M. Sutton and Karen M. Douglas; 15. The role of paranoia in a dual-process motivational model of conspiracy belief Marc Wilson and Chelsea Rose; 16. Searching for the root of all evil: an existential-sociological perspective on political enemyship and scapegoating Daniel Sullivan, Mark J. Landau, Zachary K. Rothschild and Lucas A. Keefer.


'Van Prooijen and van Lange have done an excellent job by bringing together a range of exciting chapters illustrating the dramatic influence that the behaviors and power of our leaders can have on our perceptions, beliefs and expectations.' David De Cremer, China Europe International Business School and London Business School

'Thoughtful insights and eye-opening data fill this terrific volume … a must-read book for anyone interested in political leadership, the effects of power and how modern citizens should regard their politicians.' Roy F. Baumeister, Florida State University, author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

'Power, Politics, and Paranoia does the discipline a valuable service by bringing … these three research literatures together … This volume is an important illustration of how power and paranoia are not simple reflections of individuals' psychological characteristics, but are informed by their position within groups and their group's position within the larger society.' Heather J. Smith and Stephanie McKee, Social Justice Research


Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Paul A. M. van Lange, Joris Lammers, Ilja van Beest, Eftychia Stamkou, Gerben van Kleef, Pamela K. Smith, Jennifer R. Overbeck, Kai Sassenberg, Naomi Ellemers, Daan Scheepers, Annika Scholl, Susan T. Fiske, Federica Durante, Fouad Bou Zeineddine, Felicia Pratto, John J. Haller, Michael A. Hogg, Antonio Chirumbolo, Luigi Leone, Rudy B. Andeweg, Roderick M. Kramer, Jennifer Schaffer, Viren Swami, Adrian Furnham, Robbie M. Sutton, Karen M. Douglas, Marc Wilson, Chelsea Rose, Daniel Sullivan, Mark J. Landau, Zachary K. Rothschild, Lucas A. Keefer

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