Tag Archives: nationalism

Bulgaria (not) only for Bulgarians

At this year’s summit of G20, the newly elected French president Emanuel Macron stated that the problem with the slow economic development of Africa was civilizational. As an example, he noted that African women gave birth to 7-8 children, in which he saw a negative economic effect without accounting for its economic roots–the reason must be the “innate backwardness” of the people. Similarly, in Bulgaria the problem with the social and economic segregation of the Roma is viewed as civilizational, which can have negative consequences in the future such as becoming a burden to the social system. This se ..

On the Macedonian question: Statement from DEA and the Red Network

Concerning the recent developments in the Balkans, DEA and the Red Network state the following: The background to understand recent events is the initiative of USA-NATO and the EU to impose a new “stability” and control to the region, by establishing an immediate connection of all the countries with the major imperialist organizations. The timeframe that has already been announced (the EU Summit in Sofia at the end of May and the NATO Summit at the end of June) highlights that they are moving in a fast pace to address the difficulties that Western imperialism is facing in the Middle East, and the turn of Turk ..

In the Name of the Constitution: Ethnic Minorities and Technologies of Disenfranchisement in Bulgaria

Note from the editors: Starting next month Bulgaria will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union. To acknowledge this momentous occasion, this month LeftEast will carry two texts by Jana Tsoneva analyzing the politics of contemporary Bulgaria. This article originally appeared in July on the Serbo-Croatian portal Bilten and is republished here with their generous permission. It is a habit of the lazy mind to associate only ex-Yugoslavia with ethnic conflicts, but in the late 1980s Bulgaria, too, was on the brink of an “ethnic war”. The post-1956 period regime was marked by the increase of ra ..

Bosnia: A very European division

The following article was first published at the online Serbo-Croatian platform Bilten. On 30 January the future organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries of the region without even a formal full sovereignty, was discussed in the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament (EP), a body in which no representatives of the country concerned have the right to participate. This is, of course, a standard procedure: despite having no plans in the near future to admit Bosnia and Herzegovina as members, the European Union in its significant and less significant bodies regularly assesses the  ..

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 ..

Banning the Veil in Bulgaria

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croat web portal Bilten. Last April Pazardzhik, a Bulgarian town with a population of about 70,000, banned Muslim women from wearing veils. Pazardzhik was followed by Stara Zagora, and proposals for introducing similar prohibitions were made in over a third of the regional cities. It is dubious if municipalities have the constitutional right to introduce regional regulations on clothing, but, regardless, the bans are widely backed. Rumyana Bachvarova, the Minister of Interior, said she supports it because more vigilanc ..

Turkey in July: a Tale of Two Coups

Within days of the failed military coup attempt, president Erdogan announced his “good news” to the Turkish public: a state of emergency for three months. It’s been exceedingly difficult to identify with any of the protagonists of the last couple of weeks in Turkey. Essentially, what happened were two coups in quick succession: one—abortive military, the other—successful civilian and still ongoing. Given Turkey’s experience of military coups, the former augured nothing good. The days of progressive officers overthrowing autocratic governments and introducing democratizing reforms—a la Nasser, Hafizu ..

Poland’s War on Historical Memory

The electoral victory of the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) has initiated a number of changes. Being a conservative party and appealing to right-wing resentments, historical politics were always an important part of the party’s policies. A ‘fair and honest’ historical politics were a way to build a new national identity and an important part of the party’s program and rhetoric. The principles were nothing new: similar issues were raised since the transition of 1989 and a way to deal with the communist past. In those days the Commission for the Prosecution of War Crimes Against the P ..

An Interview with Boris Buden – Antifascism as Platitude

By: Milena Ostojić (this text originally appeared in Lupiga.com). Boris Buden is a cultural theorist, translator, and publicist, currently guest lecturer at the Bauhaus-Weimar Universität. He is widely known for essays originally published in Arkzin, and later in the Barikade collection (two editions). In our conversation with Buden, we interrogated the question of antifascism as a concept and a practice related to the long term local and wider European experience, with an appeal for an alternative to the contemporary revisionist conjecture. Last year, at a panel about NOB (Narodnooslobodilačka borba – ..

15 years since the toppling of the Milošević regime and why the Left should celebrate it

It is 15 years to the day since the toppling of the Milošević regime. In Serbia there is much disillusionment with the results of the revolution. But here are some reasons to continue to celebrate it. First, as Lindsey German showed at the time in the article posted below, industrial workers were central to the uprising that finally toppled a regime that claimed to defend socialism. This shows that even after years of economic crisis, ideological manipulation and international intervention, the working class remained a central actor in society. Second, and linked, it was the people of Serbia itself, not inter ..