PNCDI III Research Grants

Constructing country images in turbulent times

Grant of the Ministry of Research and Innovation, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2016-2167, within PNCDI III

Grant director: Dr. Elena Alina Dolea (

Period: 02.05.2018 – 30.04.2020

International conference presentations:

1. Dolea, E. A (2018). The strategic communication of protests as form of citizen diplomacy: the Romanian protests from 2017. ECREA Conference, Lugano, Switzerland. October 31 – November 2, 2018.
2. Dolea, E. A. (2018). Country Images in Turbulent Times & Diaspora Public Diplomacy. Conference of Romanian Students, Professors and Researchers in the UK, University of Cambridge, October 13, 2018.
3. Dolea, E. A. (2018). Country Images in Turbulent Times. Aarhus, Denmark, EUPRERA Congress, September 27-29, 2018.
4. Dolea, E. A. (2018). Diaspora Relations in the Wake of Brexit: Agenda for Diplomats. Workshop “Building diplomatic networks post Brexit”, Bournemouth University, September 21, 2018 (co-convenor of the workshop)


   The RO COUNTRY IMAGES research project investigates the discursive construction of country image and identity by various social actors in Romania, taking into account the macro-context of a globalized culture and promotional practices adopted by countries worldwide and the specific context of increased movement of people - migrants and refugees - within Europe (concomitant with the rise of nationalist right-wing parties and their anti-immigration discourse). The unprecedented European refugees’ crisis has revealed different positions and discourses of the “old” versus the “new” EU members and stirred heated debates within countries about the consequences and the future of EU and the benefits of EU membership. Consequently, the status of countries, the country image and the national identity have become intertwined recurrent topics in the public debates, not only on the agenda of experts and government as before.

Project objectives:

The main objective of this project is to longitudinally analyse and explain how different Romanian social actors (government, media, and citizens) discursively construct the country image and identity of Romania, after the refugees' crisis in 2015. It is considered that these various actors reproduce, in their discourses, certain representations about Romania and Romanians, in terms of their identity, how they are perceived. The analysis aims (1) to trace how these representations have evolved in time (reconfiguration of topics or discourse strategies); (2) to identify the role of media in constructing the debates; (3) to explore to what extent citizens re-contextualize the political and media discourses in order to (re)construct their own views about Romania and Romanians. While focused on Romania and aimed at informing Romanian policy making, the study has an intrinsic European dimension as it constantly seeks to reflect the representations of ‘sameness’ and ‘difference’ between ‘us’ (Romanians, Romania) in relation with ‘the others’ (migrants, EU, etc).

Estimated results:

For the scientific community: the publication of 2 articles in prestigious international journals; participation at 4 top international conferences in communication and public relations. For Romanian authorities: 1 policy paper with recommendations to inform policy making

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