History of Communism in Europe

Volume 10, 2019

"Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Svetlana Dimitrova
Pages 21-39

Universitaires « de l’Est » face au politique après 1989

The politicization of the intellectuals in the early 1990s now seems like a closed chapter in the history of the Eastern Bloc. Political life became more regulated before experiencing the entry of “unexpected” actors, labeled as “populists”. The academics’ political commitments, movements or believes have been interpreted as expression of “dissidence”, after 1989. The question of resistance, dissidence or opposition to the Soviet‑type socialist regimes caught the attention of many researchers. The social scientists became particularly interested in peripheral presentations and written productions, as intellectual alternatives to the official line (Samizdat, seminars or movements). Most of the studies insisted on the political repercussions of these actions, living little doubt on the inherent political sense they carried. Does this heritage, developed over the past three decades, shape the present relation to politics? This article aims to question the relationship that two generations of academics have with politics. Particular affiliations impacted the processes of political and academic transformations. The analysis, based on research carried out in Bulgaria, aims to shed light on the dynamics that cross the “post‑socialist” space and time.