Articles by Stanislav Dodov

Change or Stability, Apathy or Disgust: Bulgarian voters lose out yet again

If elections in liberal democracy were to be described as briefly as possible, perhaps it would go something like this: the people get to decide if they want change or more of the same (with both options, of course, embodied in aspiring representatives). Such was the explicit dilemma defining the political discourse in Bulgaria in the past few months. And it seems that the people have chosen more of the same. After a short, insubstantial campaign and two rounds in many places (the capital included), local election results became official on the 4th of November. In the epic battle between the ethereal forces of †..

It was never about the Istanbul Convention

The debate over the ratification of the so called “Istanbul Convention” in Bulgaria, as in some other countries in the region, became a huge public scandal and probably the most important political matter of 2018. Originally intended to provide states with a framework for prevention and reduction of domestic violence against women, the document has become a byword for a conspiracy against the Bulgarian people and their supposed “traditional values” violated by foreign liberal powers through the use of “gender ideology”. On the 27th of July the Constitutional Court, referred to the matter by 75 deputie ..

Bulgaria’s growing problem with violence among children: a piece is missing or the puzzle is wrong?

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten.Org For three years now Bulgaria is experiencing a growing concern with violence among children, especially at school. Experts, NGOs, government representatives and media are contesting to restate their commitment to end children’s aggressive behavior, impelled by recurring cases of serious physical harm and even death. 60% of children in Bulgaria do not feel safe at school, the head of the Juvenile Crime Department at the Interior Ministry has stated in October. In 2016-2017 the Ministry o ..

The presidential elections in Bulgaria between systemic nationalism and the anti-systemic vote

November 13th of this year saw the second round of presidential elections in Bulgaria. With an overwhelming majority, General Rumen Radev became Bulgaria’s fifth elected president. the outcome of the presidential elections in Bulgaria came to light. We take this opportunity to analyze the political assumptions surrounding the election results. There are multiple ways to interpret the electoral outcomes. First, as a victory of Russia over the European Union. Second, as rise of the anti-systemic vote (usually meant as a reaction against GERB [2]). Third, as change in the balance between the now-neoliberal-former ..

Bulgaria’s Refugee-Hunters

Note from LeftEast editors: This article is published in collaboration with the regional portalBilten. On the 8th of June, 2016 the ZDF broadcast a news report about a paramilitary group, the self-proclaimed Bulgarian Military Union “Vasil Levski”. The piece was shot during a regular “migrant-hunting” operation of the unit in a forest near the border with Turkey. According to the report, by the middle of June there are about 800 individuals taking part in similar groups in Bulgaria. Vigilante groups have three things in common: they push back migrants across the Turkish border, engage in enforcing unlawfu ..