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Conspiracism, secrecy and security in restoration France: denouncing the Jesuit menace

Verschwörungstheorien, Geheimnis und Sicherheit im Frankreich der Restaurationszeit: das Propagieren der Jesuiten-Bedrohung
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Cubitt, Geoffrey

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Abstract "This article explores the historical and conceptual relationships between themes of conspiracy, secrecy and securitization, firstly through a general schematic discussion of their interconnections, and then through a specific focus on the polemics and strategies of the French Bourbon Restoration period (1814-1830). The conspiracist visions of this period are contextualized by relating them to longer-term evolutions in conceptions of the state and of politics, and to the impact of the French Revolution. Comparisons are drawn between the strategies of the Right, focusing on the idea of revolutionary conspiracy and generally linked to a governmentalist agenda, and of the Left, focusing on a vision of Jesuit or theocratic conspiracy and usually oppositional in character. The final section of the article analyses the denunciations of the Jesuits in greater detail, through the lens of a model of securitization. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which denouncers of Jesuit conspiracy combined historical argument with legal attacks on the Jesuits' corporate existence, on the fluidity of their conceptions of the conspiratorial threat, and on the ways in which denunciations of Jesuit conspiracy reflect broader liberal anxieties over power and identity in an age of political transformation." (author's abstract)
Keywords France; restoration; historical analysis; secrecy; denunciation; Jesuit; eighteenth century; law; opposition; theocracy; politics; transformation; discourse analysis; political culture; government; legality; myth; argumentation; science of history; threat
Classification General History; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Method historical; theory application
Free Keywords Verschwörungstheorie; Securitization
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 107-128
Journal Historical Social Research, 38 (2013) 1
Issue topic Security and conspiracy in history
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works