Eduard Baidaus is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts, department of History & Classics.
Constructing Nations in a "Frozen Conflict": The Transnistria Problem in Moldova and in the Geopolitics of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and the European (1985-2012)
My dissertation addresses the problems of nation and state building in the Republic of Moldova, a country which goes through these projects in the wake of Soviet collapse. It deals specifically with the protracted dispute over "Transnistria" - a region that is only de jure a part of Moldova, but de facto an "independent" and unrecognized quasi-state. My key goal is to examine the problem of separatism and the extent to which it impedes nation-building in this post-Communist state, impacts regional security, and influences international affairs. The Transnistrian regime challenges Moldova's domestic stability and territorial integrity as it pursues a separate "nation" and "state" building projects, in which the rest of the country functions as the enemy "Other." Among Moldova's neighbor, Romania is interested in the promotion of "Romanian" ethnic and "European" political identities among Moldovans, while Russia and Ukraine prefer the preservation of a Soviet-type "Moldovan" identity and tacitly support Transnistria's secessionism. Hence, all of these domestic and international actors make Moldova into battleground of competing nation-building projects in the challenging 21st century world.
keywords: nation-building, identity construction, separatism, civil war, quasi-states, conflict resolution, post-Communist countries, the European Union, NATO expansion