The politics of nationalism under communism in Bulgaria : myths, memories and minorities
This study is devoted to politics of nationalism under Bulgarian communism (1944-89). The research aims to analyse the actual content of the Bulgarian communist policies on three main national questions and the ideas behind them. How did Bulgarian communism understand nation and nationalism? How did the Bulgarian Communist Party policy on issues of nationalism change over time? What was the legacy of communist politics of nationalism after the fall of the regime in 1989? This thesis focuses on three national questions in Bulgaria: `the Macedonian Question', the position of the ethnic Turkish minority, and the politics of Jewish identity. It argues that revealing the ideas behind the communist policies in relation to these questions explains how communism understood national identity in Bulgaria. Chapter 1 provides an overview of theories of nationalism and communism in relation to Bulgarian communism. Chapter 2 analyses the understanding of communist internationalism and nationalism of the founders of Bulgarian communism and their followers in the contest of Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism. Chapter 3 discusses Bulgarian communist mythology and argues that under communism Bulgarian national mythology was at the basis of promoting cultural nationalism which in its own turn was used for political mobilisation against ethnic diversity. Chapters 4,5 and 6 are dedicated to the three national questions mentioned above and their development under communism. Chapter 7 examines politics of nationalism after the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria in 1989 and argues that by promoting cultural nationalism based on ethnic homogeneity the policies of the BCP in relation to ethnic minorities determined the politics of nationalism during post-communism in Bulgaria. The chapters are linked by the argument that Bulgarian communism changed its original idea of building a communist ration-State as a political community with class identity at its core to building an ethnically homogenous nation-state with ethnic Bulgarian identity as its organising principle.