Skip to content

The Usual Suspects? Conspiracy Theories and the Covid-19 Pandemic in Poland

This is chapter 20 of the 2023 edited volume “Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories in Global Perspective”, edited by Michael Butter and Peter Knight. The entire book is available for digital open access at

The premise of this article is that conspiracy theories are not only a means of finding the truth in times of uncertainty but they are central for the affirmation of already existing values and premeditated perceptions in their respective societies in need of further validation as well (Sobo and Drążkiewicz 2020). This argument is especially noteworthy in the cultural context of Poland where conspiracy theories currently enjoy a different status than in other, especially Western European countries. Their contemporary relevance for the ruling party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS), which has purposefully enhanced the popularity of conspiracy theories in the Polish public sphere in the last years, is only one of the various factors contributing to Poland being framed as a country with a “conspiracist mentality” beyond Covid-19 conspiracism. By looking at some of the most popular conspiracy theories in Poland during Covid-19, the chapter will draw connections between the content, especially the actors thematized therein, and their meaning for the Polish society at large. More specifically, I will consider how the pandemic has affected belief in conspiracy theories in Poland, what trends can be identified regarding the variety of conspiracy theories circulating in Poland, and how some of the political conditions specific to Poland have affected the conspiracist trends observed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many Covid-19 conspiracy theories popular in Poland, I will argue, fit into a larger scheme of conspiracist beliefs that are part of the specific historical, political, social, and cultural conditions of the country.

Rachwol, Olivia. “The Usual Suspects? Conspiracy Theories and the Covid-19 Pandemic in Poland.” Covid Conspiracy Theories in Global Perspective, edited by Michael Butter and Peter Knight, Routledge, New York, NY, 2023, pp. 280–292.

Open access to this publication ↗