• Destabilizing factors in present times

    Security & Future, Vol. 2 (2018), Issue 2, pg(s) 58-62

    The analysis is focused on nationalism, populism, hate speech, multiculturalism. The processes designated as globalization are mobilizing a resistance that increasingly manifests itself as an effort to preserve the identity of various ethnic cultural and religious traditions. Populist extremism is nourished by what it describes as the antagonism between the organic, “pure”, nation and the nation’s enemies, whether these be the Jews, the Muslims, the ethnic minorities and/or the “corrupt elite”. Populism is a distorted form of democracy that promises to fulfill the loftiest ideals of democracy (“Let the people decide!”). In other words, the threat comes from within, because the politicians that represent that threat speak the language of democratic values.
    Hate speech is an utterance that denigrates or stigmatizes a person or a number of people on the basis of their affiliation to a group that usually, but not always, has certain unchanging characteristics, for instance, an ethnic or religious group. The fundamental problem here is the lack of understanding that the responsibility for the actions of one person may not be shifted to all people having some trait in common with the perpetrator. To distinguish between the individual and his group is a fundamental principle of democracy.
    The discussion on multiculturalism cautions against the attempts to idealize multiculturalism: the philosophy and reality of multiculturalism do not always overlap. Most European states are inclined to think of multiculturalism mostly as a framework for the coexistence of different cultures rather than as a transnational mechanism for the integration of new settlers within a dominant culture. According to the critics of multiculturalism, Europe has allowed excessive immigration without requiring sufficient integration, an inappropriate course that has resulted in the erosion of social cohesion, the undermining of national identities and the decrease of social trust. The defendants of multiculturalism, for their part, respond that the problem lies not in excessive diversity but in excessive racism. A core set of shared basic values and rules (the Constitution, the laws, the shared language) guarantees the cohesion of the whole and at the same time sets boundaries to the right to be different and to the principle of equal standing of cultures. The general framework holds clear primacy over the particular cultures. The immigrants may preserve and maintain only that part of their cultures that is not in contradiction with the mandatory shared whole (“selective preservation of culture”).



    Science. Business. Society., Vol. 2 (2017), Issue 3, pg(s) 147-150

    Even before the conquest of the Balkan peninsula was completed by the end of the 15 century, the Ottoman Empire was faced with the need to increase the Muslim component of the local population so as to affirm Ottoman power in the new lands. The central authorities, the army and the clergy began to systematically implement a policy of Islamization. Colonization and migration were among the factors that led to the settlement of a numerous Muslim population. Conversion to Islam was linked to certain advantages, such as pardon for violations of law, the distribution of offices and positions, assistance for impoverished new Muslims, inclusion in Ottoman military organizations such as the spahi, the janissaries, the yaya (peasant infantry), the muslem (autonomous peasant cavalry), the akinji (advance cavalry), the yuruks, etc. There was a merging of ethnic and religious identity stemming from the way in which the Empire was organized and from the importance of religion for the exercise of power. Religious affiliation became an ethnonym of power, and power was in Muslim hands. Evidently, the causes and factors of the conversion to Islam of part of the Balkan population have not been definitively clarified and will remain debatable if the explanation is looked for in “coercion” alone or in “voluntary choice” alone. Perhaps the causes might be related to the internal political strategy of the Ottoman state with regard to the numerous population of the Balkans as well as to the medieval religiousness of the peasants and the incapacity of the Orthodox Church, in its subordinate position, to maintain their faith and provide them with material assistance.



    Science. Business. Society., Vol. 1 (2016), Issue 4, pg(s) 43-45

    The processes we designate as globalization tend to provoke resistance, which arises ever more often as an effort on the part of various ethno-cultural and religious traditions to preserve their own identity. In this context, ethnic and religious affiliations become centers of meaning in the striving towards a separate identity in the global debate regarding the quality of human development.

    Achieving a national community and building new norms of coexistence under the conditions of ethno-religious variety are becoming a strategic goal of contemporary development. Contemporary civilization faces the need to respond to the critique and resistance of various forms of religious fundamentalism, and especially the critique formulated in the tradition of Islamic fundamentalism.

    The problems related to national identity have been far more often described and discussed in the context of nationalist fears of difference than in terms of the effort to overcome the crisis of identity amidst the imposed similarities. Under Bulgarian conditions, ethnic and religious diversity continues to be perceived as an established fact that we must take into account, and not as a resource for nation building. Achieving a national identity should be the result of joint effort. The first and most difficult part of this effort is to recognize that this common meaning exists in a diversity of forms. The coming years will be marked by a search for new grounds of one’s own identity, a search for the spaces that define parts of ourselves. The great challenge facing Bulgaria is to rediscover the values and meaning of the national community. Only thus will our genuine, full presence in Europe become a fact.



    Science. Business. Society., Vol. 1 (2016), Issue 1, pg(s) 45-48

    The results of the analyses of European Values Study data (European Values Study 2008) indicate significant differences between the social and value profile of Eastern Orthodox Christians and the Muslim community in Bulgaria. In this survey, for an important share of the respondents who define themselves as Muslims, religion is no longer a value in itself but a complete environment, which determines the attitude towards other values and relations. Religious morality structures the new models of participation and forms of solidarity. While the Orthodox Christians mostly have a traditional respect for the norms of faith, among an important part of the Muslims religion is becoming a value scale and a core of social activity in general. While we do have reason to consider that, overall, Bulgarian society is in a process of rethinking its attitude to religion, this applies to a much greater degree to Muslims. The mediating complex of factors that most probably accelerate certain processes of consolidation of the religious community is connected with its partial social isolation, its specific profile of professional, civic, and political activity.



    Industry 4.0, Vol. 1 (2016), Issue 1, pg(s) 64-66

    The article discusses the relationship between ethnic and religious differences through the prism of power, hate speech and national identity. The author concludes that ethno-religious variety in Bulgaria continues to be perceived passively, as something given, and not actively, as a resource for nation building. The author outlines certain problems engendered by the predominantly Muslim immigration pressure on Europe.