Abstract: In January 2010, I met a Bulgarian friend for dinner in a Georgetown pizza parlor. This friend, whom I will call Svetozara, had recently immigrated to the United States and was looking for a job in D.C. Recently divorced after twenty-six years of marriage, she had been a lawyer in Bulgaria, and one of a core of pro-democracy activists who had been politically influential during Bulgaria's transition from communism. With her liberal colleagues, Svetozara had fought hard to banish communist influences from the Bulgarian government and economy. She believed that democracy and the institution of free markets would improve the lives of her compatriots after more than four decades of totalitarian rule and had worked to make sure that post-1989 elections were free and fair. She had helped reorganize local governments to make them more responsive to citizens' needs and had supported legislation to make the Bulgarian government less bureaucratic and more open and transparent. She had been a darling of liberal reformers come from the West to dismantle the centralized state and the command econ-omy.
Dissent – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Mar 22, 2012
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