Bulgaria: The Populist Political Communication Miileau

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Seminar 34 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Dobrinka PEICHEVA, The Neofit Rilski Univeristy in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Lilia RAYCHEVA, The St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University, Bulgaria
Academic attention to populism in Bulgaria is a comparatively new phenomenon in the country. The researchers are still not unanimous about the concept of populism and its peculiarity. The only consensus among them is that political actors (political leaders and political parties with populist leanings) have mixed features and are imitative in nature.

The conceptualization of populism in Bulgaria came to attention at the turn of the new century. It was preconditioned by the success of some newly-formed parties during that period that promoted softer or harder forms of populism and that managed to win, although not constantly, a considerable number of seats in the national parliament. Studies on populism have aimed ever since both at the identification of this phenomenon and its reasons and at building up a conceptual and classificatory framework for its analysis. Along with this, academic discussions have commenced about its conceptual dimensions so as to outline the manifestations of populism and of populist actors (party leaders, media, parties), and to seek new explanations of the attitude towards this phenomenon. Specificities of the study of populism result from the differences in populist techniques and approaches.

The aim of the undertaken research is to focus on the achievements as well as on the deficits, regarding the theoretical and empirical description of populism in Bulgaria as well as on the images of the populist activities (both in media and in social networks) as well as to reflect on the issues and demands behind these images. The analysis will be situated against the contemporary political, economic, social, regulatory and media environment in the country. In addition, some of the most significant images of the populist activities disseminated through both social networks and traditional media will be also analyzed.