TEN YEARS OF EUROPEANIZATION
OF THE BULGARIAN SOCIETY
Issue Editor: Georgi D. Dimitrov
CONCEPTUAL AND METHODOLOGICAL DEBATES
The European Integration of Bulgaria:
a Sociological Enigma or a Research Program?
Georgi D. Dimitrov
European Integration beyond the Normative View:
Fluidity and Uncertainty as a “Norm”
THE INFLUENCE OF EU MEMBERSHIP
ON ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PROCESSES
Membership in the EU and Bulgaria’s Economy
Winners and Losers: Structural Change
in the Bulgarian Economy during the Last Decade
Financial Decentralization: Its State and Perspectives
Bulgaria in the European Social Policy:
Convergence of Practices, Heterogeneity of Models
How Effective Are EU Structural and Cohesion Funds?
POLICIES FOR PROMOTION OF DEMOCRACY,
RULE OF LAW AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Ten Years of European Membership:
Defective Democracy, Dependent Institutions
Civic Participation and Media Debate in the Context
of EU Membership: (Un)Expected Trajectories of Europeanization
Bulgarian Media in the Context of the European Union
Bulgaria’s Return to Europe:
Under the Shadow of the Russophile Tradition
On Bulgaria’s Integration into the EU:
in the First Person, but Not Singular
Georgi D. Dimitrov interviews Ingrid Shikova, founder of European Studies in Bulgaria, and pioneer of European integration processes
On EU Expansion Policies: A Responsible Approach!
Georgi D. Dimitrov
The Truth about the Truth
“Sociology of Religion 1945–1989” and Beyond:
Themes, Theories, Publications
“Every Line Comes from Effort, Not Nature”
Maya Grekova Interviews Stefan Popov on his book
Atlantis. The Disintegration of Political Bodies
Cosmopolitan Empathy and Solidarity.
An Attempt to Distinguish between the Concepts
Is the Young Generation Making “A Turn To The Right”? Analysis of a Selection of Cases
Transformations in the Role and Social Functions
of Modern Science: Main Factors and Prerequisites
Agricultural Cooperative Credit in Bulgaria
from the Ottoman Period to the First World War
Tsvetelina Marinova, Nikolay Nenovski
METHODOLOGY OF EMPIRICAL SOCIAL SURVEYS
Cluster Analysis in Sociology
Jubilee Scientific Conference “How We Live Together: Communities, Institutions, Networks”
(Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridksi, 10–11 March 2017)
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
The Effacing of Memory According to the Author
and His Reviewer (on R. Avramov, The Economy of the “Revival Process”,
Riva / Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, 2016)
Monumental Forms and Spectacle Obsessions: The Cultural Wars in Post-Socialist Bulgaria (on I. Dichev, Culture as Distance. Eleven Essays on Cultural Anthropology, St. Kliment Ohridski Publ., 2016)
Economic Sociology: Past and Future (on T. Chavdarova, New Economic Sociology. Network Analysis and Neo-institutionalism, Iztok-Zapad, 2016)
Postmodern Sociology or Sociology of Postmodernism: the Sociological Problematizations of Mike Featherstone (on M. Featherstone, Consumer Culture and Postmodernism, NBU Publ., 2017)
TEN YEARS OF EUROPEANIZATION
OF THE BULGARIAN SOCIETY
THE EUROPEAN INTEGRATION OF BULGARIA:
A SOCIOLOGICAL ENIGMA OR A RESEARCH PROGRAM?
GEORGI D. DIMITROV
This paper, being a summary of the conventional research program which unifies the papers collected in this volume, justifies the necessity of a long-lasting large-scale sociological investigation on the Bulgarian EU-membership experience – for the sake both of better understanding of the reasons for the escalating EU crises and the opportunity for a non-classical development of the sociological knowledge itself.
Keywords: EU membership, Mechanism for cooperation and verification, crises, anti-European attitudes, sociological cognition
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION BEYOND THE NORMATIVE VIEW: FLUIDITY AND UNCERTAINTY AS A “NORM”
The article criticizes the normative – political and theoretical – approach to the EU. It analyses the paradoxes of the political constitution of the EU, processes of contradictions and fluidity of institutional structures, representative of both EU and new member states. The author poses the question of the paradigm, which could explain such processes and offers the entangled modernities approach. From this point of view, hybridity, constant change, fluidity are not the expression of a crisis, but of a new type of contextual and dynamic institutionalism, which could be more adequate to the uncertain environment than the adherence to classical rigid structures. It would be sensible for the EU and the member states to operate in a permanent dialogue regime; negotiation and renegotiation should become a fundamental principle of the functioning of the EU.
Keywords: the European Union, Eurointegration, entangled modernities, fluid institutions
MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU AND BULGARIA’S ECONOMY
The goal of the present study is to delineate one possible framework for analyzing the economic effects of Bulgaria’s membership in the EU, as well as to offer initial observations informing the analysis. The analysis concentrates on the internal dynamic of Bulgarian economic indicators in their relation to the country’s EU membership and is based on the method of the analytical narrative. The initial analysis offered uses to focus levels – macroeconomic and microeconomics, and tries to account for the importance of both the membership and pre-accession periods. The assessment with respect to both the macroeconomic indicators and to various microeconomic processes is undoubtedly positive.
Keywords: European Union, Bulgaria’s membership, macroeconomic effects, microeconomic processes
WINNERS AND LOSERS: STRUCTURAL CHANGE IN BULGARIAN ECONOMY DURING THE LAST DECADE
The period before Bulgaria’s accession to the EU was marked by high rate of economic growth. Both final consumption and fixed capital formation are factors that contributed to this growth. During that period a sizable net inflow of foreign capital was recorded, in the form of foreign direct investment and new debt accumulation of the private sector. These trends persisted throughout the first two years of the EU membership. The global economic crisis led to a sharp contraction of investment activity in Bulgaria, with the employment falling for four consecutive years. The impact of the crisis, combined with the effect of the common market resulted in considerable shifts in the structure of the economy. In 2015 the industry already had the highest share in the gross value added. The share of some manufacturing sectors in the exports of goods have risen by 500% or even 800% during the last decade. The role of export-oriented business services also significantly increased, becoming a key job creator in recent years.
Keywords: common market, growth, structural change, investment, specialization
FINANCIAL DECENTRALIZATION: ITS STATE AND PERSPECTIVES
The deteriorating state of municipal budgets creates a number of obstacles to their use as a tool for policy-making. The discontinued fiscal decentralization process and some of the recent attempts to address the problem of increasing indebtedness among local authorities created prerequisites for an increase in the local tax burden, while prospects for improving the fiscal situation of municipalities are still lacking. The structure of municipal expenditures shows an increasing importance of the absorption of EU funds and a continuing dependence on the decisions of the central government. The relocation of personal income tax proceeds back to municipalities seems the only viable alternative within the existing tax system.
Keywords: local finances, decentralization, taxes, budget, EU funds, revenues and expenditures, reform, tax burden, municipalities