State Authority in Bulgaria: A Post-Colonial Balkan National Community

By Benedict Edward DeDominicis.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

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The state develops through a historical process of collective learning as community values evolve through societal experience. Imperial control characterizes the context in which this learning has occurred in Bulgaria. Bulgarian political behavioral attitudes toward official authority reflect this long history of external domination. Though sovereign since 1989, Bulgarian attitudes regarding government official ability are likely to produce leaders that reflect a dependent, patronage-focused political culture. It stands in contrast to European Union ideals that emphasize obedience to the rule of law in the form of adherence to formal policies and procedures. Government authority performance is therefore more likely to be seen as corrupt, particularly by strong Bulgarian EU self-identifiers. A historical analysis of imperialism in Bulgaria provides insights into the relative lack of societal consensus on obeying formal rules and procedures and instead engaging in clientelism. Bulgarian nationalism shapes the development of the state in the context of this imperial legacy. This legacy includes elements of shared pan-Slavic Communist identity as well as traditional ethno-sectarian Orthodox, Turkish, and Muslim identities of varying intensity. Developing a more effective and efficient Bulgarian state requires a long-term political evolutionary process. This political course ideally will contribute to cultural convergence promoting societal attitudinal consensus on the behavioral and emotive meaning of being a good Bulgarian EU citizen. It will require generations. Corruption will therefore remain a notable challenge in Bulgaria into the foreseeable future, as it has been in Italy.

Keywords: Bulgaria, Corruption, European Union, Imperialism, Nationalism, Social Movements

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.21-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 838.486KB).

Prof. Benedict Edward DeDominicis

Assistant Professor, Political Science, International Studies Department, Catholic University of Korea, South Korea