Latcheva [Abstract]

Nationalism versus patriotism, or the floating border? National identification and ethnic exclusion in post-communist Bulgaria    [Full text]

Rossalina Latcheva [1]

Abstract: The paper deals with different aspects of national identification and their relations to ethnic exclusion in post-communist Bulgaria. The emphasis is placed on theoretical approaches that refer to nationalism as a social (collective) identity and its effects on specific exclusionary practices and individual attitudes. This specific theoretical framework is also used as a source for drawing a conceptual model that is subsequently tested on empirical data for Bulgaria for two time points: 1995 and 2003. The data for the analysis is gathered within the framework of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) “National Identity”. In order to analyse changes over time a simultaneous multiple group comparison between both samples is conducted by applying Structural Equation Modelling. The empirical examination shows that the concepts of patriotism and nationalism as individual attitudes toward the nation could be plausibly differentiated for Bulgaria, yet not with regard to their relationship with chauvinism. Both nationalistic and patriotic sentiments are positively related to chauvinistic attitudes, a result, which seems to contradict the general theoretical assumptions. The question whether one can distinguish between ‘patriotism’ as the less extreme and ‘nationalism’ as the ‘blind’ and uncritical form of individuals’ attachment to the nation is addressed.

Keywords: Bulgaria, nationalism, patriotism, chauvinism, ethnic exclusion, social distance, minority rights, structural equation modeling, ISSP

[1] Institute of Sociology, University of Zurich,