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Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors$
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Jan Zielonka and Alex Pravda

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244096

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019924409X.001.0001

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Bulgaria and Macedonia: Voluntary Dependence on External Actors

Bulgaria and Macedonia: Voluntary Dependence on External Actors

(p.413) 15 Bulgaria and Macedonia: Voluntary Dependence on External Actors
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors

Kyril Drezov

Oxford University Press

The main hypothesis of the chapter is that historically both Bulgaria and Macedonia have tended to adapt to an externally determined environment by opting for self‐limiting behaviour. This kind of ‘voluntary dependence’ arises where a subordinate ruling elite chooses not to exercise all the opportunities for sovereign decision‐making but instead accepts special favours from the hegemonic power. The chapter shows that such ‘survival techniques’ have defined the post‐communist positioning of Bulgaria and Macedonia. An examination of the specific patterns of democratization in Bulgaria and Macedonia is followed by an analysis of the international factors that have been the most influential in shaping events in both countries. The focus is on two factors: (1) the impact of the general international environment of Bulgaria and Macedonia; and (2) the actions of external power to influence events in these countries. The way in which these factors have impinged on specific developments is explored through several case studies. The chapter also points out to similarities between Macedonia and Bulgaria in the process of democratization and international influences. Both of them are considered as ‘islands of stability’ with experience of peaceful and negotiated transitions, and willingness to subordinate their national interests to Western strategic concerns despite the feeling of neglect and discrimination against the West.

Keywords:   Bulgaria, democratization, Macedonia, national interest, post‐communism, ruling elite, self‐limiting behaviour, sovereignty, stability, voluntary dependence

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