Annika Rabo
Annika Rabo

'“It Has All Been Planned”: Talking about Us and Powerful Others in Contemporary Syria' is the title of Annika Rabo’s chapter. It deals with conspiracy "it-has-all-been-planned" - talk related to international and regional politics, and gives examples of how local and national debates about bribes and corruption are discussed in Syria.

Annika Rabo has collected her material during a number of anthropological fieldwork trips in various parts of the country since the late 1970s. Her last visit to Syria was from February to March 2011.

In her chapter, Annika Rabo writes that “just as many of my informants stressed that almost everything of political importance is planned by cunning agents, they also, again and again, argued that they do not really deserve anything better. “We have the rulers we deserve”, they said, or: “We are so divided and so unorganised, we will never be better” (pp. 225-226).

“Inequalities and differences in political power, wealth, and resources cry out for an explanation in the modern world, because, through global connections and national state-building, Syrians, like other people, have been taught to expect a better life and a better world. Thus I argue that blaming “us” is the flip side of blaming “them” – one cannot exist without the other,” Annika Rabo writes (p. 227).

Conspiracy Theories in the United States and the Middle East is edited by Michael Butter and Maurus Reinkowski. The entire book is available online thanks to access brought by Stockholm University Library. By using your Stockholm University account and your University card you can access the book online.

Find out more about Annika Rabo’s research.