Russia’s Soft Power and Identity Entrepreneurship in the ‘Shared Neighborhood’: The Case of Moldova

Russia has recently demonstrated a greater awareness of its ‘soft power’ capacities, on both a discursive and a practical level. Thus, this article will first look at how a ‘soft power’ discourse fits into Russia’s realist paradigm, which provides a matrix for interpreting the international environment and offers guidelines for how to achieve its national objectives. Secondly, it will explore the development of Russia’s ‘soft power’ resources and the general framework of their deployment in the context of identity entrepreneurship in the ‘shared neighborhood’. The final section of the article will focus on Russia’s ‘soft power’ usage in Moldova, which has recently been striving to get closer to the European Union. This paper will reveal how Russia employs cultural influence and human resources to deepen identity division in Moldova and to stonewall the country’s European integration.

Authors: Stanislav Secrieru