Challenges to Constitutional Supremac y in a New Democrac y: A Critical Study of Bulgaria  Cover Image
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Challenges to Constitutional Supremac y in a New Democrac y: A Critical Study of Bulgaria
Challenges to Constitutional Supremac y in a New Democrac y: A Critical Study of Bulgaria

Author(s): Atanas Slavov
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS)
Keywords: concept of constitutional supremacy; democratic transition in Bulgaria

Summary/Abstract: This research is primarily focused on the concept of constitutional supremacy and how it is implemented in the socio-political context of Bulgaria during the period of democratic transition beginning in 1989. The main problem is how the new democratic Constitution of 1991 functions in a society that generally lacks sustainable democratic tradition, although it made the political choice to follow the constitutional patterns of the Western constitutional democracies. The research consists of three parts. Part one elaborates on the general ideas and concepts employed in the paper (constitutional supremacy, higher law, rule of law, constitutional democracy) giving their historical origin and theoretical background. Part two deals with the concept of constitutional supremacy within the Bulgarian historical and political context. It particularly focuses on the communist period, studying the changes within the communist system and the creation of the new nomenklatura elites which will play a decisive role during the democratic transition. Part three focuses on the challenges to constitutional supremacy raised during the years of democratic transition after the adoption of the new Constitution of 1991. Special attention is drawn to the challenges resulting from the preserved influence of the political and economic elites connected to the former communist nomenklatura, as well as to the new oligarchy-types of businesses and political organizations. Further, the challenges are studied in three dimensions – normative (builtin the constitutional text related to the insufficient implementation of the separation of powers and the checks and balances), political-institutional (the practices of influencing the political decision-making process on behalf of the parallel networks connected to former nomenklatura and the oligarchy), civic-sociological (the general lack of independent civic actors limiting the governmental power and keeping public authorities accountable, as well as relying on the constitutional and legal system for achieving their goals). The legitimacy of the constitution is also reviewed in the context of its drafting, adoption, and performance.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 1-30
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: English