>Bulgaria: blogged down
Transitions Online reports on the heavy handed attitude of the Bulgarian authorities to a blogger, who promoted an ecological ‘flash’ protest on his blog. The more interesting element is less the Bulgarian state’s dislike of civic protest or being held to account that the nascent movement of bloggers claiming to be the country’s ‘real’ civil society. The political role of blogging and the internet has been endlessly hyped. I personally am sceptical that it does much more than allow well educated elite groups to talk to each other and co-ordinate a little more quickly and easily. This probably matters for the emergence of liberal minded anti-establishment challengers – the emergence of Estonia’s Res Publica party seemed to have taken place largely over email – but the real issue seems to be that, blogging or not, such forces lack the social and political weight to have much impact.
Perhaps more interesting to track, however, would be whether CEE officialdom has generated any anonymous insider blogs such as the UK’s Civil Serf (now taken down), which can shed some light in the ‘black box’ of day-to-day public administration in the region.