An Unsettled Nation

Eduard Baidaus

This book investigates state-building, distorted identities, and separatism in the Republic of Moldova. At various times, this region was a former imperial Russia borderland, a province in interwar Romania, a republic in the Soviet Union, and ultimately a modern state where the interests of Moscow and the West collide. The book presents research on the historical preconditions and spread of the secessionist movement in Transnistria, the war in the Dniester River valley, and the diplomatic deadlock of the Transnistrian problem. It further examines the conflicting positions that political parties, the public, and experts have taken towards the problems that challenge the nation- and state-building processes in this post-Soviet state. Additional focal points include the reassertion of Russia’s power in the post-Soviet space, Ukraine’s effort to become a major political player in the region, and Romania’s attempt to retrieve its influence in Moldova. This study demonstrates that separatism generates mutually exclusive nation-building projects on the territory of a single state, where pre-existing historical conditions and geopolitical realities interweave and impede the construction of a modern nation-state. It also evinces that international actors play a significant role in this process, and that they are dominant and superimposed on the local decision-makers. Moreover, domestic and external factors connected with nation-building policies often conflict with each other and hinder the development of a resolution of the so-called “frozen conflict” over Transnistria.


Author: Aisseco

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