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The Non-Party Regime(s) in Bulgaria (1934–1944) in Comparative Perspective

06.03.2024 12:00 CET IOS, Room 017, Landshuter Str. 4, 93047 Regensburg Presentations

For an entire decade, political parties were banned in Bulgaria. Initially, this was seen as a temporary ban on existing parties, but it was generally maintained despite changing conditions. Promises of free elections never fully materialised, and attempts to create a single party failed. Finally, in the early 1940s, the authoritarian regime even presented the "non-party regime" as an original political model that corresponded to the specifics of the country.

The authoritarian regime in Bulgaria was similar to the other "royal dictatorships" in the region, but they never served as a model for the "non-party regime." Leading circles in Bulgaria were mainly fascinated by the examples of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany; occasionally Pilsudsky's Poland, Kemal's Turkey, Salazar's Portugal and some other authoritarian regimes were also cited as positive examples.

Dr Alexander Vezenkov holds a PhD in History from the University of Sofia (2001). He has worked extensively in the past on the history of the concepts of 'the Balkans', 'the Balkan Peninsula', 'South Eastern Europe' as a distinct region, and 'Balkan/SEE Studies' as a discipline. Currently, he is working on the ideological foundations and institutional history of the authoritarian regime in Bulgaria, the so-called "non-party regime" (1934–1944). He investigates both the reception of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, and other totalitarian and authoritarian ideologies from prominent European nations, as well as the Bulgarian context in comparative analysis with other authoritarian regimes, particularly those characterized as "royal dictatorships" within the region.

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