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 – 30.11.2020

Final Report

International conference presentations:

1. Dolea, A. (November 2020). Organizer of the online public event "Romanian Diaspora in the UK and Romania’s Country Image. Perspectives and research from HERE and THERE". An event to publicly present the results of the research grant “RO Country Images”, bringing together researchers, journalists, Romanian state representatives from the UK and Romania, November 27, 2020.

2. Dolea, A. (accepted, forthcoming April 2021). Advancing research on diaspora diplomacy and country images. International Studies Association’s Virtual Annual Convention, April 7-10, 2021.

3. Dolea, A. (accepted, forthcoming September 2021). Advancing research on diaspora diplomacy: The construction of identities, country images and (dis)engagement. 8th European Communication Conference, ECREA, September 6-9, 2021.

4. Dolea, A. (2020). From focus groups to policy paper “Romanian migrants in the UK”. FMC Research Process Seminars, 2020-2021, Bournemouth University, November 10, 2020

5. Dolea, A (2020). Critical Discourse Analysis and Diaspora Diplomacy in a transnational social field - constructing identities, social status and country images. FMC Research Process Seminars, 2019-2020, Bournemouth University, June 2, 2020

6. Dolea, A. (2020). Initiator & chair. “Integrating Scholarship Fields for PD: ICA/ISA Joint Panel”, inaugural joint panel of International Communication section of ISA and Public Diplomacy Interest Group of ICA at the International Communication Association Annual Virtual Conference, May 21, 2020 (article and video available here: and here: )

7. Dolea, A (2020). The strategic visual communication of protests as form of citizen diplomacy: the Romanian protests from 2017. International Communication Association, Visual Politics Virtual Preconference, May 20, 2020 (Video available at:

8. Dolea, A. (2020). Teleshopping nation on its centenary: Romania. Complexity, hybridity, liminality: Challenges of researching contemporary promotional cultures conference. ECREA Organisational and Strategic Communication section, London School of Economics, UK, February 20, 2020.

9. Dolea, A (2020). Critical Discourse Analysis. Workshop for the Social science research methods course for the Bangladeshi Delegation, Bournemouth University, February 2020

10. Dolea, A. (2019). Focus groups. Researching diaspora, country images, engagement /disengagement, Research Process Seminars 2019-2020, Faculty of Media and Communication, Bournemouth University, UK, December 5, 2019

11. Dolea, A. (2019). Rom: The gradual marketization of Romania’s country image and of the Romanian migrant. International History of Public Relations Conference, Bournemouth UK, June 26-28, 2019

12. Dolea, A. (2019). Country images and diaspora diplomacy. From diaspora’s agenda to policy making. Post-conference “Public Diplomacy in the 2020s”, the 69th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Washington DC, May 29, 2019

13. Dolea, A. (2019). Organizer and Head of Scientific committee of the post-conference “Public Diplomacy in the 2020s” with participants from academia and US Department of State, US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, U.S. Agency for Global Media (, the 69th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Washington DC, May 29, 2019

14. Dolea, A. (2019). Chair of Panel. “Nation Branding & Country Image”, the 69th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Washington DC, May 25, 2019.

15. Dolea, A. (2019). ”Between past and future: Promoting Romania in the year of Centenary”. International Workshop “Promoting the Nation in Troubled Times Branding, Diplomacy and Strategic Communications in a Polarised Context”, Loughborough University, UK, March 21, 2019.

16. Dolea, A. (2018). The construction of country images in turbulent times: how Romanian migrants in the UK (re)construct their identities and country image. Centre for Politics and Media Research Seminar. Bournemouth University, December 12, 2018.

17. Dolea, A. (2018). Guest lecture "Public Diplomacy and Critical Theories of Public Relations: Country Images" for Bachelor Lecture on PR Research and Communication management course, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, October 31, 2018.

18. Dolea, A. (2018). Guest Lecture "The strategic communication of protests - citizen diplomacy? The Romanian protests from 2017" for Master Seminar on Nation Branding and Public Diplomacy, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, October 30, 2018

19. Dolea, 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

20. 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.

21. Dolea, E. A. (2018). Country Images in Turbulent Times. Aarhus, Denmark, EUPRERA Congress, September 27-29, 2018.

22. 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).

Public communication of the results:

   Public Event "Romanian Diaspora in the UK and Romania’s Country Image. Perspectives and research from HERE and THERE" -

INTERVIEW Researcher Alina Dolea: Migrants end up developing a certain sensitivity about the way Romania is perceived. The experience "between here and there, neither here nor there" contributes to the feeling of loneliness

Romanians are coming: Good migrants versus bad migrants and some explanations for AUR place in the expectations of the citizens from the country - Interview -

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