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Between Liminality and Hybridity - Moldovan Identity and the Borders of Europe

Roxana Adina Huma

This paper investigates the way in which Moldova, a country on the border of the European Union, represents its European character (or lack thereof) and through it, articulates its foreign policy. It employs data collected during fieldwork in 2012 together with a post-structuralist approach to study the meanings attached to Europe, as a trope, by looking at the political scene, the Moldovan press and grass-roots levelFirstly, it highlights the way in which the Orientalist representation of the EU, as superior both values and development-wise, is accepted and re-textualised within Moldovan discourse in constructing Moldova as 'not yet' European. The paper stresses the construction of Moldovan identity as liminal not only though these characteristics, but also through the perceived 'contamination' of its Romanian character through its historical contact to the Russian/Eurasian space and the need to 'eradicate' this influence. This not only emphasizes the way in which 'Europe' gains multiple meanings in Moldovan discourse, but also how it is constructed through an East-West dichotomy and, hence, how being European means rejecting the Russian/Eurasian element. Lastly, a counter-discourse that sees Moldova not as liminal, but as a hybrid between the two worlds, East and West, will be analysed as an alternative.

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