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Dissenting Democrats: Nation and Democracy in the Republic of Moldova
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Republic of Moldova was one of fifteen states to emerge from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. With weak historical legacy of statehood, deteriorating economy and serious national divisions, the young state lacked many of the prerequisites deemed necessary for successful democratization. From the very beginning of independence, Moldova became the battleground of Romanianists, propagating for the Romanian character of Moldova’s majority population, and Moldovanists, who viewed the people as a separate nation. In the literature on democracy and democratization, a divided nation is singled out as a serious threat to statehood and democratization efforts alike. Without a nation in place it is generally understood that democracy cannot take root.

Nevertheless, Moldova in a few years time managed to make considerable progress on its path towards democracy. A main theme of the dissertation is thus the issue of national division and how it has affected political developments in general and democracy in specific. This picture is then further expanded by including close analysis of political support.

The dissertation contributes to discussions about how nation and democracy goes together in transitional states with no legacy of either of them. The analysis shows that national division in Moldova works on different levels. While political actors often seek support from the electorate according to their positions on the nation, national identity by itself does not suffice to explain differences in political support. Instead other aspects, such as generational values, degree of urbanity and level of education, play a much larger role. Democracy, as a platform where different political ideas and ambitions may form, can both complicate transitions since it provides opportunities for conflicts, but democracy also holds the prospects to find ways to resolve disagreements. In the long run, this carries the seed of consolidation of both democracy and nation alike.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University , 2011. , 263 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 142Södertörn doctoral dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 62Södertörn political studies, ISSN 1653-8269 ; 9
Keyword [en]
Moldova, Moldavia, MSSR, transition, ethnic group, nation, national division, nation-building, democracy, democratization, polyarchy, political support, correspondence analysis, Moldovanism, Romanianism, Gagauz Yeri, Transnistria
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64177ISBN: 978-91-7447-406-0ISBN: 978-91-86069-41-4OAI: diva2:456142
Public defence
2011-12-15, lecture room G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 12:30 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-11-23 Created: 2011-11-13 Last updated: 2011-11-17Bibliographically approved

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