Does Putin believe his own conspiracy theories? | Why the next Marine Le Pen could win

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This week, we speak with the authors of two New York Times opinion pieces, published in the past week, that look at different aspects of the authoritarian far-right in Europe.

First, Ilya Yablokov, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield and author of “Fortress Russia: Conspiracy Theories in the Post-Soviet World,” tells us that Vladimir Putin once used propaganda instrumentally to maintain support at home, but he and his inner circle appear to believe their own conspiracy theories now--and explains why that's so dangerous.

Then we welcome Rim-Sarah Alouane, a legal scholar at Toulouse Capitole University in France, to talk about what has happened in France over the past 30 or so years to give Marine Le Pen, a smoother but dangerous Trumpian candidate, a mainstream veneer that made last week's French presidential election too close for comfort. Alouane warns that if present trends persist, a xenophobic far-right candidate like her may become president of the French Republic in the near future.

Playlist

  • Dusty Leigh: "Like That"
  • Breland: "My Truck"
  • Jelly Roll: "Heaven"

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