Volume for the Routledge Series in Conspiracy Theories

Edited by

Anastasiya Astapova (University of Tartu)

Onoriu Colacel (Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava)

Corneliu Pintilescu (The Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca)

Tamás Scheibner (Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest)


In this volume, we explore new democracies that emerged after communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. The expectation then was that countries of the region regain their agency and join capitalist states in a pan-European and worldwide circulation of capital, people, and ideas. This was dominantly imagined as a process leading to greater democracy and freedom, including freedom of speech and a more sophisticated public discourse capable to feed politics with refined ideas. Twenty years after the regime changes, however, Eastern Europe emerged instead as a primary place for inventing, adapting, mediating, and redistributing conspiracy theories.

This volume has three principal objectives: (1) it explores the various manifestations of the most viral conspiracy theories in contemporary Eastern Europe, (2) it seek answers to the question what are the historical conditions of the popularity of conspiracy theories in the region and, with a particular focus on how Cold War media (on both sides of the Iron Curtain) was managed and what imprint it had on regional practices and mindset, and (3) what are the historical-cultural specificities in these countries on the longue durée that contributed to the emergence of such a great variety of conspiracy theories. To answer these questions, we concentrate on the case studies from East European states exemplary of the interplay of the Communist influence, local dynamics, and global processes in the formation of conspiracy theories in this region.

Please send your suggestions, the abstract of your potential contribution, or questions about the volume to anastasiya.ast@gmail.com.