25 years after 1989: what has happened to trust in institutions?

At 20:00 EET (19:00 CET and 18:00 GMT) on the 12th November 2014 The Red House brought the cycle of debates looking back at the quarter century since 1989 to a close by asking how the erosion of trust in Bulgarian institutions has occurred. This debate took place in The Red House’s Red Hall (15 Ljuben Karavelov St., 1142 Sofia) and was in Bulgarian. 

On this cycle of debates, looking back at 25 years of Bulgarian development post-1989:

25 years after the start of the transition, Bulgarians are dissatisfied with the ways in which the process of democratisation and the introduction of market economics have changed their lives. Oft-repeated comparisons with the socialist period, in terms of security, justice, job opportunities, education and health care, underscore the sense of failure, which many associate with transition. What is more, Bulgarians have become painfully aware of a growing lack of solidarity in society, a lack of trust in the other. This incipient distrust in institutions and in people obstructs Bulgarians in their search for positive development. What were the dreams with which Bulgarian society started out on the long road to democratic transformation in the 1990s and where is the country today? What has been achieved and what have people been unable to achieve in terms of building democratic institutions, developing an independent media and tackling social inequalities? How has the transition helped to undermine intersocietal trust and can we succeed without faith in one another?

These are the questions, which The Red House will look to enunciate in this series of debates. A video installation and documentary films from the socialist period and the beginning of transition will also form an integral part of this analysis of Bulgaria 25 years after the end of communist autocracy.

TTT Sofia November 2014  debates600-400

Liberty leads the people, a photo from the protests against the Bulgarian government in 2013 by Vassil Ganrizov

25 years after 1989: what has happened to trust in institutions?

25 years after the start of the transition Bulgarians are fundamentally dissatisfied with the ways in which democratisation and the promotion of a market economy has changed their lives. The continued unfavourable comparison of the present day with the socialist period – in terms of security, justice, job opportunities, education and health care – demonstrates a ground swell of feeling, which judges the transition to have failed. And, according to the general populace, the ones to blame for this state of affairs are the politicians, the state institutions, the media and social elites in general. This almost total distrust of institutions and individuals in positions of authority serves to undermine attempts at bettering society and hinders work on positive developments, leading The Red House to ask, how has the transition destroyed trust and is it possible to achieve change in its absence? Does the crisis of trust in society suggest the need for structural changes in the democratic system as we know it?

Participants:

Deyan Deyanov (Institute for Critical Social Studies

Ivan Krastev (Center for Liberal Strategies)

 

25 години преход: Какво се случи с доверието в институциите?

ноември 2014 (понеделник), 20.00ч. Центърът за култура и дебат

Дебат на български. Червена зала, ул. „Любен Каравелов“ 15, София, България.

25 години след 1989:

25 години след началото на Прехода, българите са недоволни от начина, по който демокрацията и пазарната икономика промениха живота им. Сравнението с времето на социализма по отношение на сигурност, справедливост, възможност за работа, образование, здравеопазване, показва усещането за пълен провал на прехода. Нещо повече – днес хората болезнено констатират липсата на солидарност в обществото, липсата на доверие в другия. Недоверието в институциите и в хората днес поставя на изпитание възможностите за позитивно развитие. С какви мечти тръгна обществото ни по пътя на демократичната трансформация в началото на 1990те и къде сме днес? Какво успяхме и какво не успяхме да постигнем в областта на демократичните институции, медиите и справянето със социалните неравенства? Как преходът унищожи доверието и можем ли да имаме успех без доверие?

Това са въпросите, които ще поставим в тази серия от дебати, документални филми от времето на социализма и началото на прехода, и една изложба-инсталация.

TTT Sofia November 2014  debates600-400

Liberty leads the people, a photo from the protests against the Bulgarian government in 2013 by Vassil Ganrizov

25 години преход: Какво се случи с доверието в институциите?

25 години след началото на Прехода, българите са тотално разочаровани от начина, по който демокрацията и пазарната икономика промениха живота им. Сравнението с времето на социализма по отношение на сигурност, справедливост, възможност за работа, образование, здравеопазване, показва усещането за пълен провал на прехода. Вина за това състояние на нещата според хората носят политиците, институциите, медиите, елитите като цяло … Тоталното недоверие в институциите и в хората днес поставя на изпитание възможностите за всякакво позитивно развитие.

Как преходът унищожи доверието и можем ли да имаме успех без доверие? Дали кризата на доверието в обществото вещае структурни промени в демократичната система такава, каквато я познаваме?

Дебат с участието на:

Деян Деянов (Институт за критически и социални изследвания) 

Иван Кръстев (Център за либерални стратегии)

Дебат на български. 

 

Further reading on the transition:

The transition is understood as the process, which several countries have undergone to bring their infrastructures in line with Western norms. In the Central and Eastern European cases, this has been the process of democratisation and adaptation from a central, state-planned economy to a more liberal, market-based economy.

1) http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/treisman/Papers/Final%20Helsinki%20paper%20nov%2009.pdf

Twenty Years of Political Transition by David Treisman, University of Los Angeles


2) http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ECAEXT/Resources/complete.pdf

Transition. The First Ten Years. Analysis and Lessons for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union by the World Bank.


3) http://www.wiiw.ac.at/development-patterns-of-central-and-east-european-countries-in-the-course-of-transition-and-following-eu-accession–dlp-2985.pdf

Development Patterns of Central and East European Countries (in the course of transition and following EU accession) by Leon Podkaminer of The Viennese Institute for International Economic Studies