The methodology of social movement research has scarcely been applied to cases in the post-socialist world. Works from the early transition hailed Eastern European civil society, but by the early 2000s their enthusiasm gave way to weary accounts of the NGO-ization of a donor-driven civic activism. A decade later many Eastern European countries joined what seemed a broader wave of social protests. Yet, interpreting the Eastern European protests as part of the protest wave against indebtedness, austerity, and precariousness might be misleading. Focusing on the Bulgarian protests from 2012-2013 I show how a number of mutually reinforcing protest frames made the framing of coherent economic and political demands increasingly difficult. They draw a possible demarcation line within the emergent global protest wave that needs to be explored as an expression of long-term economic and political processes, underway already before 1989.
Mariya Ivancheva received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central Eastern University in Budapest. Currently she is a Tsvetan Stoyanov Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.
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