Foreign policy making in democratizing states : the case of Bulgaria in the 1990s
This PhD thesis analyses the mechanisms and factors which have determined foreign policy making in Bulgaria since 1989. It contributes to the process of theoretical discussion concerning whether and how democratization affects foreign policy making. This discussion traces its academic origins to the beginning of the 20th century with theoretical debates among international relations scholars on the subject of whether liberal democratic regimes follow by nature qualitatively different foreign policies than authoritarian political regimes. Post-Cold War Bulgaria is a good case study for such a topic. A destabilizing factor in the Balkan region and politically isolated from both the immediate regional and the international environment for much of its modern history, Bulgaria has reversed this position since the end of the Cold War. It has engaged in a course of political integration into the regional and the international environment, following a foreign policy aimed at bringing stability and peace to the Balkan region. Sofia's qualitatively different foreign policy since 1989 has been interpreted as being the direct result of post-Cold War democratization. It is true that both the scope and the depth of democratization have been unprecedented in Bulgaria's modern history, but is it enough to explain the country's post-1989 foreign policy The thesis argues that such an interpretation is only partially true. If democratization refers to the establishment of political pluralism, then this process in itself is not enough to explain the country's post-1989 foreign policy. Bulgaria's political integration into international institutions such as the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has also exercised a large influence on Sofia's foreign policy making since the end of the Cold War. This is because Bulgaria's membership of the EU and NATO was conditional on Sofia's ability to adjust its foreign policy mechanisms for the political needs of Bulgarian integration into these organisations and to align the country's foreign policy decisions on a broad range of issues with the foreign policy decisions of the EU and NATO. The thesis employs a wide range of primary and of secondary sources from both the communist and post-communist periods. These were collected during a lengthy period of fieldwork in Bulgaria which included work in the archives of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The primary sources include foreign policy documents, and personal interviews with a number of political activists, journalists and academics from the communist period and after.