Bumpy road to democracy : A study of how communicative heritage affects democratical communication in post-Soviet countries
In this thesis we have looked at the citizen communication of a former Soviet society. Moldova gained independence in 1991, and established their first democratic election the same year. However, the democratic progress of the nation has been slow and the society is still split between those who believe in the future, and those who experience nostalgia for the past. Our thesis concerns the capital of Moldova, Chisinau, and its City Hall (CCH), which has an expressed wish to communicate more democratically with their citizens. In order to gain ideas about how to communicate more democratically, we have turned to theories of marketing and communication. By comparing CCH’s citizen communication to western criteria of democratic citizen communication, we find that CCH has quite a long way to go before they can refer to their communication as democratic. However, we believe that these theories, developed in a western society, do not pay enough respect to the cultural and historical context. They rest on assumptions about what democracy is, and how to reach it. In order to find the reason to why CCH’s citizen communication does not measure up to the western ideal, we have looked deeper into the history and culture of the Chisinau society. By interviewing Chisinau citizens and politicians we have discovered that they posses a Communicative Heritage. This heritage is highly influenced by the nation’s experiences of Soviet. Citizens and politicians understanding of both each other, and communication itself constitute this heritage. What we suggest is that this Communicative Heritage also poses as a barrier for achieving democratic citizen communication.
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