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History of Communism in Europe

Volume 7, 2016

The (R)evolutionary Maze: Communist Parties in Europe

Boris Popivanov
Pages 177-198

Between the Past and the West
Bulgarian Post-Communist Left in Search of Legitimacy

Communist successor parties in Central and Eastern Europe have adapted to the new realities according to a popular model differentiating between pragmatic reform and leftist retreat. The Bulgarian Socialist Party, which succeeded the ruling Communists, seems to diverge from this model, neither fully transforming into a Western European social democratic formation nor remaining a Communist one while keeping elements of both. The reasons behind this ambivalent position are examined according to the party’s orientation toward its own past in its three dimensions: program messages, voters’ attitudes and commemoration of Communist legacy.

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