A Tale of Two Norm-Groups: Elite-Society Cleavage in Bulgaria

Emilian R. Kavalski


The paradox of the Bulgarian post-communist transition seems to be that on the one hand it has succeeded to introduce relatively stable political institutions, which, however, have not been able to address popular values, as is indicated by the erratic voting patterns and public opinion surveys. An explanation for such development can be found in the EU approach to the country, which aims to condition Bulgaria’s decision-making practice, but so far has failed to spill over into societal attitudes. As a result, the values promoted by the EU in elite policy-making remain abstract concepts rather than tangible points of reference for the majority of Bulgarian citizens. In its current form, the EU-promoted socialization unwittingly institutionalizes the separation between political elites and citizens. It develops a normative divergence between these two groups. The bottom line is the different premise for evaluating post-communist developments: (a) accession priorities and macroeconomic stability for the elites; and (b) the rising insecurity and decline in economic well-being for the majority of citizens. The suggestion is that such socialization practice (in the long-term) can have detrimental effects on the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration project.

Bibliografická citace

Kavalski, E. (2004). A Tale of Two Norm-Groups: Elite-Society Cleavage in Bulgaria. Středoevropské politické studie, 6(2–3). Získáno z https://journals.muni.cz/cepsr/article/view/4069

Klíčová slova

cleavage; elite; European Union;


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Copyright (c) 2004 Emilian R. Kavalski

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