Continuity and discontinuity in Nationalist discourse: the Greater Romania Party in post-1989 Romania

Cinpoes, Radu Petru (2006) Continuity and discontinuity in Nationalist discourse: the Greater Romania Party in post-1989 Romania. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


After the collapse of communism in Romania, in December 1989, nationalism played an important role in the development of political life. This thesis proposes an explanation for why this has been the case. I identify the Greater Romania Party as the most representative nationalist political formation in post-communist Romania and examine it as my case-study. My analysis distinguishes the core aspects of the PRM's ideology and studies how its discourse is constructed. In doing so, I argue that the success of the party could only be explained by the fact that it employs a nationalist discourse that has been consistently and continuously used over a long period of time in Romania. I begin by engaging with the debates about nationalism in order to establish a theoretical framework, which in turn provides my analytical device to examine Romanian nationalist movements in three different political, social and cultural time frames. I use this analytical tool to identify a set of themes that characterise the nationalist discourse in all the periods I examine, and to show that these themes cut across chronological sequence, political purpose and social and cultural contexts. Alongside with the continuity of the nationalist discourse across time, I argue that authoritarian tradition and the conditions of the transition from communism in Romania are also factors that contribute to the persistence of nationalist tendencies in post-1989 Romanian politics. The analysis of the case-study draws on these findings and shows that the same core ideological elements used effectively in the past are exploited again, by the PRM, in yet another context, with the same degree of success. The thesis, therefore, aims to examine the most significant nationalist party in post-communist Romania, to explain the background in which it operates and to focus on the ideological tools it uses in order to rally the support of the electorate, by mapping out the particular type of nationalist discourse, which recurs in different historical political and social circumstances in Romania.

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