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Populism in Bulgaria

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The Politics of Resentment

image of Southeastern Europe

This article explores the success of populist parties in Bulgaria during the last decade. The first section focuses on the definition of populism and identifies the main populist parties in this country. The second part presents the development of these parties and their specific characteristic as well as the evolution of the “three waves” of populism in Bulgaria. The last section addresses the reasons for the success of these parties both in terms of supply side (the electorate) and the demand side (the strategy of the parties). The main conclusion is that this country is a fertile ground for populist movements due to the attitude of the electorate and the niche on the right-side of the political spectrum and that newly created parties use this opportunity of win elections but they remain short-lived because they cannot continue to mobilize populist rhetoric when they are in office and often face rapid decline.

Affiliations: 1: CEVIPOL, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium,; 2: CEVIPOL, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium,


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