CWIHP is pleased to announce the addition of a new document to its online Digital Archive. In CWIHP e-Dossier No. 35, introduced by Sue Onslow, the newly released document is a 1979 conversation between the future President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, and communist leader of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov.
This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
December 2002- Bulgaria's post-1989 transition to a multi-party democracy and market economy, both functioning under the rule of law, has obviously been slow if judged by Hungary's exemplary standard. Ten governments and five parliaments in 12 years have hampered the political pursuit of sustained policies. The shock of a collapsing Soviet trade regime hit Bulgarian exports – one half of which had gone to the USSR – particularly hard. Legal foreign trade suffered and illegal activity mushroomed with Western sanctions against Serbia and Greece's embargo against what it still calls the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But that was the 1990s, and now in the new century, there are enough signs of progress to hope that impending NATO membership will indeed be followed before the end of the decade by EU membership.
The general elections of December 1994 marked a turning point in the Bulgarian transition. The victory of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was part of a common trend across Eastern Europe. At the same time, the change in the political landscape produced an important shift in the orientation of economic policy. This paper focuses on three issues: a general overview of the macroeconomic developments of 1991-95, selected problems related to privatization, and some aspects of the external background to the Bulgarian transition. A final section assesses the economic policy of the new BSP government and its further prospects.
January 2000 - Bulgaria once existed as a totalitarian state and a faithful Soviet ally with a centralized socialist economy. Today, it is a functioning pluralist democracy which embraces the liberal views of the West and strives for integration into the prosperous global civilization of the 21st century. The transition has been long and painful, but one that should be examined and recognized for its accomplishments, particularly those within the past year.
February 2005 - Two recent trips to the region, to Sofia in October and to Belgrade in January, inform these observations. Beyond simply reporting on the latest in my long series of visits to both cities, I welcome the chance to call attention to Southeastern Europe at a time when American interest is flagging. Since 9/11 and the occupation of Iraq, the Middle East has understandably moved to the forefront of policy-relevant regions. But that priority does not justify neglecting Southeastern Europe. Its problems may be "forgotten but not fixed," as Edward Joseph put it in "Back to the Balkans," Foreign Affairs (Jan.-Feb. 2005).
70. Mobility in Bulgaria and the European Union: Brain Drain, Bogus Asylum Seekers, Replacement Migration, and FertilityJul 07, 2011
This paper examines the multiple and overlapping discussions on migration from Southeastern Europe in the context of the demographic crises in both the sending and receiving countries. The author argues that many of these migration discourses obscure the most important underlying issue of demographic decline: fertility. Discussions about migration are conducted in lieu of conversations about the social, political and economic reasons why women in both Eastern and Western European countries are not having children. Both in Bulgaria and in the current 15 EU member states, migration is either a safety valve or a stopgap measure that allows governments to avoid making difficult and unpopular decisions regarding necessary social and economic reforms.
April 2000- The Balkans in general and Macedonia in particular have been characterized by widespread multi-lingualism. Ironically, while the term Balkanization has come to mean "fragmentation," the linguistic term Balkanism refers to shared grammatical and lexical features which originated through intense multi-lingual contact. Such contact could only have arisen under conditions of predominantly peaceful coexistence. Yet, although language served as a group marker, religion was a more important source of identity in Ottoman Turkey where it constituted the basis of an individual's millet ('nationality').
335. Religious Freedoms and Islamic Revivalism: Some Contradictions of American Foreign Policy in Southeast EuropeJul 07, 2011
May 2007 - Religion was one of the most strictly controlled elements of everyday life under the 45 years of communist rule in Bulgaria. The 1949 Law of Religious Denominations gave the state broad powers over the spiritual life of its citizens. The Bulgarian Communist Party promoted a Marxist atheist ideology, which held that communist subjects would abandon their faith as the living standards of the workers and peasants were improved through the marvels of the command economy. Religious education was largely banned and foreign religious exchanges were prohibited. The official clergies of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Muslim denomination were infiltrated by Communist Party members who mobilized religious discourses to solidify support for the centralized state. In the case of Islam, traditional clothing, burial practices and circumcision were outlawed, and Bulgaria's Muslims were forced to trade their Turko-Arabic names in for Slavic ones.
March 1997 - Two March meetings at the Wilson Center outlined the economic catastrophe and unprecedented political promise which have crowded into this small country. The political promise, only in part the consequence of catastrophe, must fulfill the long-delayed privatization of major enterprises and banks and construction of an iron-clad framework for legal business and transform the Bulgarian economy. Its partial criminalization over the past few years makes the legal framework, as John Lampe's recent trip reminded him, a crucial priority. Only full-scale reform will allow the economy to service its present foreign debt, attract private investment, and mobilize its domestic resources, human as well as financial.