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"Nationalism from the Left: the Bulgarian Communist Party during the Second World War and the Early Post-War Years"

CAS 28/02/2011

Author: Yannis Sygkelos
Leiden: BRILL Academic Publishers, 2011

Nationalism from the Left' analyses the case of the BCP as a Marxist institution which increasingly adopted and adapted nationalism; it contributes to the examination of the relatively underresearched field of communist national propaganda, as only in the last decade, have researchers become interested in this topic. It explains the reasons for this and provides evidence of the Party’s nationalism across a number of spheres of political life: domestic and foreign policy, school text books, historiography, festivities and symbols. Thus, the Marxist nationalist discourse of the BCP was all-encompassing. In contrast to many works on national communist parties, 'Nationalism from the Left' identifies many international parallels and presents an historical introduction to the reconciliation of Marxism and nationalism.


Introduction: The ‘Archaeology’ of Marxist Nationalism

Chapter One Marxist Nationalism as Evolved by the BCP up to 1944

1.1 Regional Dynamics and the BCP Before and During World War Two

1.2 Elements of the National(ist) Discourse of the Bulgarian Communist Leadership

1.3 The Partisan Movement

Chapter Two The Nationalist Discourse in Domestic Politics

2.1 The Political Spectrum in Post-War Bulgaria

2.2 Disadvantages and Advantages of the BCP

2.3 Communist Tactics

2.4 Self-presentation of the BCP as National Party

2.5 Nation, People, State, and Party

2.6 National Enemies

2.7 The Ethnic ‘Other’

Chapter Three The Nationalist Discourse with Regard to the International Arena

3.1 Binary Divisions

3.2 The Nation and its Friends

3.3 The Nation and its Enemies

3.4 National questions

Chapter Four Flagging Nationhood: Bulgarian Communist (Re)construction of the National Past

4.1 (Re)construction of the Past: Institutional Framework

4.2 A Peculiar Marxist Version of History-Writing

4.3 An Outline of how the Bulgarian Communists Narrated the Past of Bulgaria

Chapter Five Flagging Nationhood: Events and Symbols

5.1 Celebrating the Bulgarian Nation in the Late 1940s

5.2 Anniversaries and Commemorations of Plainly National Character

5.3 Anniversaries and Commemorations of National and International Character

5.4 Anniversaries and Commemorations of a Largely Socialist Character

5.5 National Symbols

5.5.a The National Emblem

5.5.b The National Flag

Conclusion: Marxist Nationalism. Why Nationalism?

Appendix One Political Parties

Appendix Two Figures

Appendix Three Tables

Yannis Sygkelos, Ph.D. (2006) in Balkan history and Politics, Kingston University, is a member of the academic staff of DEI, Thessaloniki. He has published articles on Balkan history and politics in a range of journals (contact details: )

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