The World According to Ataka

Three items in Volen Siderov’s office reflect his current image. The religious icons on the wall speak to his embrace of traditional Bulgarian values and to the agreement his party concluded with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 2006. The antique sword hanging nearby stands in for his militancy. And the heavy boxing bag is part of his personal commitment to physical fitness as well as a...
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One Step Forward and…

If you work in a social change organization, progress is measured discontinuously: a couple more steps forward at the end of the day than steps backward. On other days, however, it seems that you move ahead merely to fall back to the same position. And sometimes you just get thrown for a loss. Only later, a decade into the civil rights movement or the women’s movement or the human rights...
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Human Rights in Bulgaria

Bulgarian politician Ahmed Dogan was in the news this weekend after surviving a dramatic assault at a party conference in Sofia. Dogan is the controversial leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), an organization established in 1990 that has largely championed the rights of ethnic Turks and Muslims living in Bulgaria. Dogan was going to announce during this speech that he was...
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Where Bulgaria Went Wrong

Bulgarians can talk at great length about what went wrong in 1989-90 and why the country didn’t immediately become economically successful and politically liberal after the end of the Cold War. Some will tell you that the politicians didn’t embrace the Western model quickly or thoroughly enough. Others will wax conspiratorial about secret Communist Party machinations. Ognyan Minchev, a...
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