Conspiracy thinking has a long history in Romanian literary culture. In the early 21st century, what counts as a conspiracy theory in the mainstream of Romanian life is nevertheless elusive enough to keep the public engaged more than ever before. The growing number of attempts to address the gap in knowledge with regard to local conspiracy theories is proof that concern with their possibly harmful consequences is on the rise as well. For most of the conspiracy-minded, the topics of the day are specific threats posed to post-communist Romania and its people. In the main, conspiratorial beliefs fall into three main fields. Namely, they come across as 1) conspiracy theories against the body politic of the nation, 2) health-related conspiracy theories and 3) conspiracy theories on use and conservation of natural resources. While the first two overlap and build on the tradition of home-grown populism, the third is mostly a borrowing from Western media sources. However, the most influential instances of Romanian conspiracism posit that the well-being of the nation’s body politic and that of individuals’ own bodies are one and the same.
Onoriu Colăcel & Corneliu Pintilescu
Onoriu Colăcel is Reader in English at Ștefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania. His main research interests are concerned with postcolonial studies, cultural memory and patterns of self-identification in literature, media and popular culture; Corneliu Pintilescu is Senior Researcher at George Barițiu History Institute of the Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca. His main research interests are history of communism, politics of memory in post-communist Romania, church and state relations in Eastern Europe.