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Photo: “Palace balcany Unirii view“, by Simon Laird licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5. Hue modified from the original

Chiruta, Ionut Valentin. “Using the Past in Populist Communicational Strategies: How the Memory of Securitate is Instrumentalised in Romanian Politics?.” 

Populism 3, no. 2 (2020): 223-256.


This article investigates how political strategies interrelate populist rhetoric with memory issues. By looking at the case of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) from Romania, between 2017–2019, this article reveals how the slide to populism, generated by cyclical confrontations with the rule of law institutions, steered the psd to adopt conspirational beliefs and appeal to traumatic memories to frame the judiciary as the new Securitate. Through the use of discourse analysis and virtual ethnography, this article analyses party resolutions and political rallies. This article explains how the populist rhetoric created a new hegemonic narrative of the judiciary, by intersecting its values and symbolism with the memory of the former Securitate from the Communist period.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.