A Tangle of Memory: The Eternitate Memorial Complex in Chişinău and History Politics in Moldova
This article explores the role played by the Eternitate memorial complex, the central site for World War II commemoration in Chişinău, as a tool and site of history politics in the Republic of Moldova. It analyzes different facets of the history of the memorial complex, focusing in particular on the years after its renovation in 2006. The article traces the evolution of the site from a Soviet military glory complex to a more multi-layered and diverse commemorative space, which even includes monuments not related to World War II. It demonstrates how commemorations at the complex interact with the complexities of history politics in independent Moldova, as well as with the culturally diverse history of Chişinău and the site itself.
History of classical philology and the reception of Greek and Roman antiquity in Moldova (Moldavia, Bessarabia).
The Republic of Moldova has a long history of shifting borders, and a short history as an independent state. Higher education only expanded during the Soviet era, which saw 9 public higher education institutions come into existence between 1926 and 1988. On the one hand, ample state funding for higher education allowed an unprecedented growth in access to higher education, a well-developed technical and material base, and internationally comparable educational standards. On the other hand, high level of centralization of the Soviet educational system made it static and unable to adequately respond to the changing needs of a dynamic labor market. Strict educational centralization led to bureaucratization of management, authoritarianism, excessive uniformity, lack of understanding of local conditions, stifling of ‘bottom-up’ initiative, and lack of academic mobility. At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, participation in higher education was still the third lowest among all Soviet republics.
In Cultural and Political Imaginaries in Putin’s Russiascholars scrutinise developments in official symbolical, cultural and social policies as well as the contradictory trajectories of important cultural, social and intellectual trends in Russian society after the year 2000. Engaging experts on Russia from several academic fields, the book offers case studies on the vicissitudes of cultural policies, political ideologies and imperial visions, on memory politics on the grassroot as well as official levels, and on the links between political and national imaginaries and popular culture in fields as diverse as fashion design and pro-natalist advertising. Contributors are Niklas Bernsand, Lena Jonson, Ekaterina Kalinina, Natalija Majsova, Olga Malinova, Alena Minchenia, Elena Morenkova-Perrier, Elena Rakhimova-Sommers, Andrei Rogatchevski, Tomas Sniegon, Igor Torbakov, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, and Yuliya Yurchuk.
The recent crisis in Ukraine cast a spotlight on those countries located between Russia and the EU, a region that had long existed beneath the radar of international politics. Indeed, even its name remains indeterminate: the term 'post-Soviet' is too encompassing (it could also designate Estonia or Tajikistan) while the notion of 'Eastern Europe' has long lost any geographical anchor. Instead, this space is often named after regional powers’ attempts to shape it: as the EU’s 'Eastern Neighbourhood' or as Russia’s 'Near Abroad'. The new region-building endeavour pursued by Russia through Eurasian integration frameworks is a crucial development in this regard.
On the 29 of May 2014, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which extends the provisions of the existing Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and comes into being in 2015. This integration regime has been lauded by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a new, better version of the European Union, and castigated by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as a new form of the Soviet Union. This report shows that it is neither. The EEU is a modern and far-reaching attempt at economic integration, but one that is weakened by internal and conceptual contradictions. What was designed as a geo-economic framework is increasingly becoming a geopolitical issue. In attempting to counter the influence of the EU’s alternative integration regime (the Eastern Partnership), Russia has shifted its diplomacy from persuasion to coercion, and Moscow is increasingly resorting to using the EEU as a foreign policy tool. The countries of the entredeux – literally, something placed between two things – are being forced to face to a geopolitical choice they had been trying to avoid, or at least to defuse. Divisive domestic politics, separatism, structural dependencies and the economic and political calculations of internal actors are key factors mediating and complicating their choice. This report focuses on these issues that are too often overlooked in the debate on Russia-EU regional competition.