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As Moldova Marches

Antonia Colibasanu


The better-known "Radetzky March" is a musical march, Op. 228, composed by Jonah Strauss Sr. and played commonly at New Year's concerts. Less famous, perhaps, is the book written by Joseph Roth that goes by the same name. Roth's "The Radetzky March" is a score written to the rhythm of the glorious Austrian Empire's decline.

The narration of three generations of the Trotta family -- professional Austro-Hungarian soldiers and career bureaucrats of Slovenian origin -- spotlights not only the constancy of the notion of the "love of one's own" at a time when the nation-state was still young, but also shows how even despite the best intentions, actions in personal and political life may lead to failure.

The political novel, written in 1932, teaches life lessons of universal value. Read today, while widely applicable to the challenges of governance in general, the book brings to mind the challenges to European cohesion and governance.

It is obvious that global governance as we knew it until 2008 has been restructured. We never quite had a definition for it before then, but we were hopeful that globalization would equal harmony and shared prosperity. However, the Orange revolution in 2004 -- the moment the so-called Russian Bear awoke -- and the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, alongside the beginning of the global financial and economic crisis, have dramatically changed the way we perceive the world today.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War had formally ended. However, it continued informally along the Russian buffer zone. The struggle was most visible in places like Ukraine that the mainstream Western media has focused on ever since the early 2000s. Moldova's struggle was far less visible. The politics of Chisinau are of interest for Russia, which wants to keep the country in its buffer zone, but also for NATO member states as Romania, which favors a pro-Western Moldova, and Turkey, which needs to keep an eye on all Russian interests near the Black Sea.


The article's full-text is available here.

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