Call for Papers: Alternative Realities, Conspiracy Theory, and the Constitutional and Democratic Order



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University of St. Thomas School of Law Journal of Law & Public Policy

Journal of Law and Public Policy

JLPP Spring Virtual Symposium

Alternative Realities, Conspiracy Theory, and the Constitutional and Democratic Order


April 16, 2021
University of St. Thomas School of Law

Conspiracy theories and claims of alternate realities have been a recurrent feature of American political and constitutional thought for nearly the whole span of American history. From the anti-Masonic panic of the 1820s, to the John Birch Society of the 1950s and 1960s, conspiracy theory has played an important, though often unacknowledged, role in the American political order.

Recent decades, however, have witnessed a proliferation of conspiracy theories and their gradual “normalization” by large segments of American society. September 11 “truthers,” anti-vaccination activists, and a belief that acts of terror must be “false-flag operations” characterized the early years of the twenty-first century.

The Trump Era, furthermore, has seen the emergence of ever more detailed conspiracy theories, whether one has in mind Q-Anon, COVID-19, or unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was fatally flawed by unsubstantiated claims of fraud or wrong-doing.

This Call for Papers seeks contributions on the relationship of alternate reality, conspiracy theory, and the constitutional and democratic orders.

The Journal of Law and Public Policy is an inter-disciplinary journal that seeks to examine the relationship of conspiracy theory and the democratic order through a variety of scholarly prisms. Hence, contributions by historians, political theorists, journalists, scholars of religion, and social media experts are welcome, as well as, of course, constitutional and legal scholars.

Proposals should be no longer than 300 words. They may be submitted to Professor Charles J. Reid, Jr. at Proposals are due by February 28, 2021.

Papers are to be presented as part of an all-day symposium at the University of St. Thomas School of Law on April 16, 2021. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the symposium will be virtual. Speakers should be ready to offer summaries of their research in presentations of approximately fifteen or twenty minutes in length. Speakers will subsequently submit formal papers for publication in the Journal of Law and Public Policy. The paper will be due on or around July 1, 2021.

The Journal of Law and Public Policy (JLPP) is a student-run organization that promotes modern legal thought through analysis of contemporary public policy. It hopes to raise awareness and provide expert thought on timely public policy issues by utilizing several forums, including academically-rigorous symposia, publication of articles, community events, and the like. It welcomes all viewpoints in order to sharpen and improve the public policies of the state and federal governments of the United States of America. By strengthening professional relationships, utilizing practical skills for the workplace, and stimulating scholarly discussion, JLPP seeks to provide students with an opportunity to develop their critical skills and to make a meaningful contribution to legal professionals and American society.

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