Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Politics of Suspicion

when 28 June 2020 - 16 July 2020
language Dutch
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1600

[Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this programme has been cancelled for summer 2020. If you are interested, please visit the programme website and send us an email. We will keep you posted about online alternatives, other developments and summer 2021].

Fake news, post truth, and the normalization of conspiracy theory: the world today is rife with suspicion. But what circumstances allow for a global culture of suspicion to flourish? What role do various forms of media play, and how is suspicion co-opted for political means, and how are we complicit in its pervasiveness?

This immersive three-week programme will scrutinize the intricate web of cause and effect that allows for an ever-growing and current global culture of suspicion. Culture provides the scripts and scenarios for imagining the schemes, designs, and connections that are crucial to unravelling conspiracy thinking and conspiracy theory in contemporary political and social landscapes.

Course leader

Dr. Boris Noordenbos

Target group

For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest contemporary politics, media, and cultural studies.

Course aim

This multimedia course will examine the rise of a globalized culture of suspicion from diverse perspectives. We will take an interdisciplinary lens to understand not only the political motives and outcomes of this movement, but also, how conspiracy thinking infiltrates and influences our lives, behavior, and how we think. We will begin with historical conspiracy theories and examine the structural shift in the recent past, then move on to the role that (new) media plays in the spread and popularity of developing conspiracies and a culture of suspicion, from state media to Youtube vlogs. The programme will end by evaluating what happens when the global becomes personal, when broad-reaching political narratives directly impact how we live our lives, and the range of human responses at play, including violence, protest, and social unrest.

Fee info

EUR 1600: Tuition fee includes lunch on class days, all site visits and excursions, all course materials, welcome and farewell events and a public transportation card.
EUR 600: Optional housing (fee is subject to change).


Please see our website for several scholarship opportunities.