Linguistic justice, Soviet legacies and post-Soviet realpolitik: the ethnolinguistic cleavage in Moldova

Prina, F. (2015) Linguistic justice, Soviet legacies and post-Soviet realpolitik: the ethnolinguistic cleavage in Moldova. Ethnopolitics, 14(1), pp. 52-71. (doi: 10.1080/17449057.2014.928097)

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This article analyses the reasons for continuing difficulties in overcoming ethnolinguistic polarization in Moldova, and the complexities in bringing about linguistic justice. It is argued that factors affecting these dynamics are: Soviet legacies, and particularly perceptions of ethnolinguistic identity as ‘exclusive’; and the politicization of language, including with regard to choices on how to manage Soviet legacies. Both factors, in turn, are influenced by the specific geopolitical situation in which Moldova finds itself. The article is divided into four sections: first, it contextualizes the case of Moldova within the post-Soviet world; second, it introduces concepts of linguistic justice and links them to the Moldovan case; third, it provides an overview of the political circumstances surrounding the discourse around language issues in Moldova since independence in 1991; and fourth, it shows how linguistic justice is complicated by Soviet legacies and the politicization of language, leading to differing perceptions of justice and nation-building present in Moldovan society. The article concludes that the linguistic (and political) divide, as well as underlying ethnolinguistic tensions, can be overcome only through the deinstitutionalization of ethnolinguistic difference, the depoliticization of language, and the construction of an inclusive Moldovan identity with a greater openness to hybridity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Prina, Dr Federica
Authors: Prina, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Ethnopolitics
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1744-9065

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