Building Legitimacy

The Role of Political Myths in the Presidential Campaigns of the Early 90s in Romania


  • Andrei Dălălău Babes-Bolyai University



Democratic Transition, Legitimacy, Political Myths, Post-communism, Romanian Elections


After the collapse of the communist regime in Eastern Europe, political parties were faced with the necessity of building political legitimacy. This research aims to find out how political myths were instrumentalized by political leaders during the presidential campaigns in order to gain popular support. In the first part, the article focuses on defining “myth” as a legitimizing political instrument. In the second part four political myths used in the early 1990s in Romania are being analyzed: the myth of the interwar period, the myth of original democracy, the myth of political reform and the providential man. The method used is political discourse and party platform analysis. The results suggest that, during the early 90s, different political groups tried to build their legitimacy using political myths instead of rational politics, which ended up in their failure to address the real issues of a changing society.

Author Biography

Andrei Dălălău, Babes-Bolyai University

Andrei Dălălău, from Cluj-Napoca (Romania), is a PhD student at ‘History, Civilization, Culture’ Doctoral School of Babes-Bolyai University, studying the history of communism. He received his Master’s degree in Contemporary History at the Faculty of History and Philosophy from Babes- Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. His interests include contemporary history, state repression against intellectuals, political philosophy and the study of social imaginary. Email:




How to Cite

Andrei Dălălău. (2021). Building Legitimacy: The Role of Political Myths in the Presidential Campaigns of the Early 90s in Romania. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 51, 17–32.