Post-Socialism, Right-Wing Populism, and the Construction of a (Neo)liberal Media Sphere: Political Discourse and Social Change in Bulgaria


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




After the collapse of socialism across Eastern Europe, media became the first markers of the changing public sphere. But, the liberalization of the media market along with the expansion of the European Union have not prevented the growth of strong far-right, populist movements both in the West and in the former Eastern bloc. This project investigates this paradox by analyzing the post-socialist transformation of media in the EU’s easternmost and poorest region—Bulgaria. Through a multi-method approach that engages with both primary sources in print and interviews with local journalists, politicians, and media experts, the study explains why and how the (neo)liberalization of media had contributed to the proliferation of racist and xenophobic discourse.