The conference “Post-Riga Narratives in Moldova” took place Friday, 16th of October 2015, at ICUB – Social Science headquarters in Şos. Panduri, nr.90, and benefited from the presentation of a prestigious guest – Mr. Igor Munteanu, Vice-Provost of the Free International University in Moldavia, former ambassador of this country to the United States and reputed researcher in the field of political science.
The audience consisted of university teachers from ICUB Scientific Committee (such as Mrs. Simina Tănăsescu) and high-rank representatives such as the Dean of the Sociology and Social Assistance Faculty, Mr. Marian Preda, as well as post-doctoral fellows, students belonging to the League of Moldavian Students in Romania. The keynote speaker focused on narrative accounts that can transpose geopolitical relationships resting on the pivotal concept of „soft power” based on acceptance, rather than coercion, as coined by Joseph Nye.
Professor Munteanu spoke about the Ukrainian survival narrative and the Moldavian humiliation narrative in the context of the Russian Federation’s expansionist ambitions following a concentric circle model, whilst the EU position shifted to a pragmatic outlook on the need to reconcile, rather than retaliate, and generally avoid conflicts, because they incur substantial costs. In the Moldavian case, the distinguished guest explained Moldavian challenges regarding the fragmentation of elites and trading of influence and political services, his perception on the extended corruption phenomenon. He answered questions concerning the need to assume partnerships in the academic, research and broad economic field between Moldavia and Romania, as well as about the knowledge transfer of his diplomatic and political experience towards the academic environment.
Dr Igor Munteanu is acting as Vice-Provost for International Cooperation and Academic Partnerships at ULIM (Free International University of Moldova). ULIM is the largest private university in Moldova. Previously, Dr Munteanu served as E.P. Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the United States of America (September 2010 – June 2015). Before 2010, Dr Munteanu led IDIS Viitorul, an influential think tank in Moldova. He served in the International Board of PASOS (Policy Association Network) between 2008-2010. He was also teaching Law and Public Policy at ASEM (2005 – 2010). Dr Munteanu served as Expert to the Institutional Committee of the Council of Europe (2001-2008), implementing various country-reporting assignments. He shared Membrership to the BSTF (Black Sea Trust Fund) since 2007 and Member of the external evaluation board of the Balkan Trust for Democracy since 2007. Between 1996 and 1999, Dr Munteanu chaired the Arena Politicii Journal, as the single professional journal for political sciences and policy analysis. In 2002, he pursued his PhD at the Law Department of ULIM on regions and EU regionalism. He wrote and edited a number of studies and books on political transition after USSR, economic modernization and regional economies. Between 1997 and 2005, Dr Munteanu was involved as free lance political analyst with Radio Free Europe (RFERL). He also served as Political Advisor to the first President of Moldova (Mircea Snegur) during 1992-1994.