[MGSA-L] Fw: Call for Papers for Publication on Electoral Volatility in Greece and Bulgaria

Roland Moore rolandmo at pacbell.net
Mon Sep 28 11:49:31 PDT 2015

On Monday, September 28, 2015 10:37 AM, "Kourtikakis, Konstantinos" <kkourtik at illinois.edu> wrote:

Forwarding the following call for papers by my colleague Petia Kostadinova to the MGSA list, I included the call for papers in the main body of the message below and as an attachment.  Thanks! Kostas 

Call for papers: Extreme Electoral Volatility in 21st Century Bulgaria and Greece: Are There CommonDenominators?
Bulgaria and Greece are among the democracies that have experienced the highest spikes of electoralvolatility in recent years. Whereas the most extreme instance of the Bulgarian context took place in2001, with the extraordinary rise of the National Movement of Simeon the Second (NDSV) to a 42.7per cent electoral score within weeks of its formation, at the end of the decade extreme volatility hadalso reached Greece’s previously stable two-party system. As the leftwing SYRIZA coalition morethan quadrupled from a modest 4.6 per cent in the 2009 elections to 26.1 per cent in 2012, thecombined vote of the formerly dominant PASOK and Nea Dimokrateia contracted from 77.4 to 32 percent.
Is it a coincidence that two EU countries with extremely volatile party systems in recent years areneighbors? Or are there common denominators that explain this pattern? If so, what would they be? Isthe most plausible common denominator the monetarist (fiscal) austerity policy associated with theeuro project, in which Greece participates directly and Bulgaria indirectly through pegging itscurrency against the euro? Or should we consider the impact of new social media on the proclivity ofcitizens to voice their concerns in public, eroding support for conventional political parties? Or arecitizens fed up with the clientilistic practices of most Bulgarian and Greek parties, throwing theirweight behind parties committed to combat nepotism and corruption? What role (if any) do civilsociety mobilization and NGO activities play in this process? Or are there different causes altogetherbehind the extreme electoral volatility in the southeast corner of Europe?
In the modern era Bulgaria and Greece for the most part evolved separately. Greece becameindependent from the Sublime Porte in 1832 and Bulgaria followed suit as late as 1878. The twocountries then fought on opposite sides in the two world wars, and in the ensuing cold war Bulgariabelonged to the Warsaw Pact and COMECON whereas Greece was a member of NATO and, after1981, the EU. As a result Bulgaria was subjected to mass expropriation of private property during thecommunist period, a process that reached its climax in the 1950s and 60s. Greece, meanwhile,experienced modest progress in the latter period but thrived economically after accession to theEuropean Community (later renamed the EU).
Yet in the early 21st Century the two countries have converged, now belonging to same key Europeaneconomic, military and political institutions. Bulgaria became a NATO member state in 2004 andacceded to the European Union in 2007. Most importantly, today both countries are the subject tomany of the same EU laws, rules and regulations, as well as to similar economic and politicalpressures and challenges in the Union and the transatlantic alliance. The near-identical institutionalcontext and similarity of position in the political economy of the European continent would appear tocontrol for a number of external factors when accounting for an explanation of the extreme electoralvolatility that the two countries have had in common in the early 21st Century.
This call for papers thus encourages students of Bulgaria and Greece to explore theoretically and/orempirically promising hypotheses (over and beyond the few hinted at above) that extreme electoralvolatility in Bulgaria and Greece do in fact share one or several common denominators. We expectpapers to focus on either of the two countries, and we encourage proposals for comparative studies.Although our focus is primarily on the 21st century, studies incorporating longer-term historicalaccounts are welcome. Our goal with this call is to build a network of scholars interested in this topic,with the potential for joint publication and/or other collaborative projects. 
We request that abstracts (in English) of around 250 words be sent to us by Oct 19, 2015, after which we will startpursuing publication options. Our expectation is that full article-length papers will be deliveredby January 2016.
Kjell Engelbrekt Petia KostadinovaSwedish Defense University University of Illinois at ChicagoKjell.Engelbrekt at fhs.sepkostad@uic.edu

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