Reproducing ‘geopolitics’ - national identity representations of foreign affairs in Moldova

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of philosophy
Title Reproducing ‘geopolitics’ - national identity representations of foreign affairs in Moldova
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Breaking away from the positivist trend dominating the literature on Moldova’s foreign
relations, this thesis analyses the means through which national identity discourses
impact on Moldovan societal representation of foreign policy. It contends that national
identity perpetuates a Cold War inspired view of foreign affairs. This construction is
defined by two main elements, the representation of the civilizational and geopolitical
cleavage between East and West and the lack of agency awarded to the Moldovan self.
This is achieved through an in-depth study of the national identity debate in Moldova.
It focuses on both the two main national identity discourses in Moldova, Romanianism
and Moldovanism. For this analysis, I employ a post-structuralist approach,
conceptualising national identity as a discourse that helps us make sense of the world.
Through this function and its persistence across Moldovan articulations, national
identity plays a key role in representations of foreign affairs in Moldova. More
specifically, the opposition between Romanianism and Moldovanism reproduces the
East-West geopolitical and civilizational cleavage, whilst the representation of
Moldovan inferiority, historical debt and the Great Power Complex reiterates
Moldova’s passivity and lack of agency. Through this Cold War representation of
international affairs, national identity offers both the resources and the limits within
which official Moldovan foreign policy articulations function. In this way, national
identity is crucial in understanding the mechanisms through which foreign policy is
legitimated and, especially, the validity and credibility of certain arguments and the
unlikelihood of others.

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