The Fluid Borders of Citizenship: a Case Study of Bulgarian Diaspora

Silvia Lozeva

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This paper investigates the role of the Bulgarian diaspora in making the state.

In May 2015, the political leaders voted that those living outside the country will only be able to vote at Embassies and those living in large cities would need to collect 60 signatures to open a polling station. The reason for this was openly admitted being limiting the votes of those citizens, who live in Turkey.

This paper investigates the political participation of Bulgarian citizens since then, in recent parliamentary and presidential elections in Bulgaria. It seeks to understand the role of the diaspora in the making of the state, where an increasingly large proportion of the population is living overseas. The paper seeks to answer the research question: What is the role of the Bulgarian diaspora in reforming the state?

In recent elections, the connectivity of Bulgarian citizens, living overseas has resulted in a significant increase in political participation, despite legislative changes, designed to limit their constitutional rights to vote. These restrictive changes come despite the fact, that the combined economic contribution of Bulgarian diaspora in the form of family support and financial transactions are regarded as the largest foreign investor in the country.
The author uses results from a large-scale survey with Bulgarian diaspora worldwide to measure political participation. Furthermore, the author uses a participatory methodology in being an active member of the Bulgarian community and has met with the President and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria to lobby against the legislative changes, together with other active citizens.
The results of this research reveal the importance of actively engaged diaspora with the political system of their home country and highlights the challenges in facilitating this process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Political Science Association World Congress: Margins and Borders - Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane , Australia
Duration: 18 Oct 201822 Oct 2018
Conference number: 25


ConferenceInternational Political Science Association World Congress
Abbreviated titleIPSA World Congress
Internet address


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