Performative Sovereignty: State Formation In The Transnistrian Moldovan Republic
This dissertation explores sovereignty and statehood in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (PMR), a de facto state located in eastern Moldova. Unrecognized for more than two decades, this project explores how non-recognition modifies our understanding of sovereignty. An ethnographic investigation of sovereignty and statehood in an unrecognized polity, this dissertation takes sovereignty and its performances as its central theme not by interrogating axiologically whether the PMR fulfills some or all of the criteria of a sovereign state, whether or not sovereignty is a relevant concept for political authority in the 21st century, or whether the PMR has a right to exist under international law. The context of non-recognition that gives rise to these performances of sovereignty constitutes this dissertation's central operating principle. The domains in which these performances occur become zones for contending with questions about the role of the state and the fate of a people unmoored from the utopian project that provided a sense of belonging and provided for them materially. The sovereign performances provided a means for public and private negotiations of these and other fundamental questions. This study is intended as a contribution to the growing literature on post-socialist sovereignty and political economy, as well as new developments in the social sciences and the humanities that look to the role of images and perceptions in political practice.
Sovereignty; Political Anthropology; Former USSR / Eurasia
Fiskesjo, N Magnus G
Case, Holly A; Nadasdy, Paul; Boyer, Dominic C.
Ph.D. of Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis