Honors College Theses

Publication Date



International Studies (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Darin H. Van Tassell


The question of national identity in modern states is one that is both elusive and ever-changing; however, the fate of a young state could very well depend on grasping this concept. This study focuses on defining national identity, and solving the dilemma of an absent, or otherwise unarticulated national identity in the Republic of Moldova. Moldova, a former member of the Soviet Union and independent since 1991, has already been through a civil war due to their lack of cohesion. The country’s history of numerous invaders, conquerors, and acquisitions starting in the 14th century has led to an eclectic population who aligns themselves with Russian culture, Romanian culture, or that of various native groups. After more than 20 years of independence, people around the world still struggle with identifying the small state, and Moldovans struggle with defining their relationship to their country and fellow citizens. Through archival research, field research, and interviews with Moldovan emigrants, intellectuals, and officials, this study recognizes the need for a national identity in creating unity and a sense of nationalism in Moldovan citizens.