The term “New World Order” has two meanings. The original, benign meaning is a period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and balance of power. It refers to periods like after the First World War, the Second World War, and the fall of communism.
The second meaning is the one used by conspiracy theorists. In this case, “New World Order” means a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian one-world government. This second meaning is just a conspiracy theory, which is not an actual fact but believed as true anyway by its adherents.
As is typical to conspiracy theories, there is not a single “New World Order” conspiracy theory, but several contradictory ones involving various subthemes, like freemasonry, Illuminati, antisemitism, Rothchild family, end time, and others.
Conspiracy theories need a justification to “explain” why anyone would conspire on such a thing in the first place. For example, it will be impossible to defend flat Earth without inventing the “explanation” why these people need to hide that Earth is flat. It is the reason why most conspiracy theories are eventually linked to the all-encompassing “New World Order” conspiracy theory.
When the term “New World Order” appears anywhere, these people will use that as “evidence” of the conspiracy. In reality, they do not realize that the term has a different, harmless meaning, unrelated to the conspiracy theory. The usage of the term in the news, politics, history, and economics is in most cases not related to the conspiracy theory.