The Role of European Union Integration in Post-Communist Democratization in Bulgaria and Macedonia

Mitropolitski, Simeon
September 2013
Canadian Slavonic Papers;Sep-Dec2013, Vol. 55 Issue 3/4, p365
Academic Journal
This research focuses on the interpretative dimension of European Union (EU) integration and on its role in post-communist democratization. It offers an understanding of the significance of taking part in political life. This significance takes shape under specific circumstances, which are part of the asymmetrical power relations with the EU. My findings are based on field trips in two post-communist countries that are situated at different stages of the EU integration process: Bulgaria, which became an EU member in 2007, and Macedonia, which is a candidate country. Methodologically, I use qualitative methods that triangulate findings into converging cultural trajectories. I conclude that EU integration, as a phenomenon within the world of meaning, acts simultaneously as a boost to and an inhibitor of democratic political culture. People create different subcultures where different interpretations of the EU integration process lead to dissimilar effects. Discursive communities of people representing these different subcultures may also produce dissimilar effects on the national level.


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