>Kosovo independence prompts pan-Slav stirrings in Bulgarian intelligentsia?


I had assumed that Bulgaria’s intelligentsia had, by and large, had a liberal pro-Western orientation and that pan-Slavism – or perhaps I should call it pan-Othodoxy – was a sort of residual cultural baggage without the intellectual and political clout it still seems to have in Russia or Serbia. However, the framing of the open letter, signed by 30 (or in later reports 100) Bulgarian intellectuals, cultural figures and churchmen against their government’s decision (in the end) to recognise Kosovan independence, reported in the Sofia Echo, suggests otherwise. A longer report in Novinite.com does, however specify that the letter was signed by intellectuals of the left.

I lack background to analyse this properly, but I wonder whether such sentiments will feed into the electorally emergent Bulgarian radical right, which – as far as I am aware – has so far been a ragbag of populist and racist positions without much intellectual ballast. A Bulgarian student tells me that it should be regarded as a new post accession phenomenon, not one with roots in historic nationalism (like say the Slovak National Party). Interestingly, other new phenomena – Kosovan independence and the rise of Putin-era pipline politics – seem to have opened up further intellectual and political space for it.

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