Ballots, Bribes, and State Building in Bulgaria

Issue Date January 2006
Volume 17
Issue 1
Page Numbers 75-89
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On 25 June 2005, voters cast their ballots in Bulgaria's sixth general elections since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. The successful completion of another cycle should dispel any residual doubts about the democratic character of the Bulgarian political system. In the aftermath, however, it quickly became clear that the country now faces a new set of challenges. What is the institutional basis of economic growth? Under what conditions might ethnic passions be reignited in an otherwise pacified yet heterogeneous society? And, as Bulgaria moves toward full EU membership, what are the sources and manifestations of the "feckless pluralism" that systematically diminishes the quality of democratic governance?