Razvan Paraianu

(b. 1965) is a fellow of the Central European University in Budapest, where he is co-developing a project on “History textbooks and history didactics in the former communist and future European countries”. His PhD thesis is entitled, “Octavian Goga: The sacerdote of nation. The national idea from emancipation to integrism and racism”.


With the EU accession process, pressure was placed on Romania and other post-communist countries to phase out an ethnic-nationalist teaching of history in favour of one that emphasized cultural diversity. The new history textbooks, which came out in 1999, earned fierce criticism from establishment historians, who saw in them a radical internationalism. In their opinion, historians after the era of Marxist-Leninism had been rediscovering Romania’s roots and national traditions; they argued that any “interpretation” of this version, which had gone unchallenged since 1989, created “imprecision”. Five years later, the author considers why it was not possible to discuss the issue with professional objectivity.

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