Articles by Madlen Nikolova

About Madlen Nikolova

Madlen Nikolova is a Cultural Studies student. She is а founding member of social center Haspel (Sofia) and of New Left Perspectives collective. She also writes for Hysterical Parrhesia (blog for Marxist critique of ideology).

Sick Leave: the Hidden Class Wars in Bulgaria

Note from LeftEast editors: We republish this from the Croatian portal Bilten, where it originally appeared. Bulgaria has some of the lowest wages and lowest productivity rates in Europe, and, not surprisingly, some of the highest rates of out-migration. Employees and employers agree on that, but on little else. Yet with the country’s economy growing and EU accession in 2007 giving it access to the common market, employment is up and in some industries labour shortages have started to cause problems. Workers and bosses are divided over both the causes of the shortage, as well as the solutions, with Bulgaria ..

Outsourcing Exploitation to Europe’s Periphery

This interview exploring Madlen Nikolova, Jana Tsoneva and Georgi Medarov’s recent research on subcontracting, inequality and worker resistance in Bulgaria was originally published on the website of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Most people probably associate outsourcing and subcontracting, whereby a company pays another company (usually in a country where wages and labour standards are significantly lower) to produce its goods which it then resells for a profit, with the clothing and electronics factories of China and Southeast Asia. While “Made in Korea” and even “Made in Japan” were once synonymou ..

Sofia: the European Center of Information Outsourcing

Note from LeftEast editors: This article is published in collaboration with the regional portal Bilten. Slogans about the “knowledge economy”, “innovation”, “entrepreneurship”, “creativity”, and the “post-industrial” and “information” society are widespread in the EU, and Bulgaria makes no exception. Information technologies are posed as the universal solution to all social ills, a panaceia able to fix everything from lack of economic growth, consumption deficits and ineffective public services to election frauds and corruption. Throughout the last decade, Bulgarian governments of all stri ..

The Bulgarian “creative class” and the reproduction of neoliberal ideology

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in cooperation with the Balkan web-portal Bilten.Org. It can be read in Serbo-Croatian here. The number of cognitive workers in Bulgaria has been on the rise over the last years with the newly outsourced contact/call/logistics centers, telecommunication firms and IT support and development. By the end of 2013 about 70 000 were employed in the sector, 30 000 in IT alone. This segment of the working class enjoys the highest income levels – average salary is about 850 EUR with a national average of solely 200 EUR. This broad range of workers, alo ..