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Окупацията от 2013 г.: в търсене на смисъла
The 2013 University Occupation: Searching for Meaning

Author(s): Ruzha Smilova
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Фондация за хуманитарни и социални изследвания - София
Keywords: student occupation in Bulgaria 2013; interpretations of protest wave; Pier Rosanvallon counter-democracy; Ivan Krastev on voice as exit; autonomism.

Summary/Abstract: The text is a critical examination of three interpretations of the 2013 student occupation that took place in Sofia University and other universities. The first positions it within the framework of the so called “summer protests”, triggered by the appointment of a controversial media mogul as chief of national security, though it also develops its own messages and practices. The second interprets the occupation as a critique of that same protest, while the third rationalizes it as a relatively successful attempt to build an “autonomous student republic”, with little to do with the wave of protests that hit the country in 2013. The text is mostly devoted to the last two interpretations, as the author finds the first well supported by the events. The second, it is argued, piggybacks on influential critiques of the wave of protests that hit the world after 2008, so the strategy of the author here is to criticize it by deflating those influential critiques. The third is critically appreciated on its own merits. It offers an ex post facto rationalization of the events with “ontological” claims, reducing the multifaceted character of the student occupation to fit a highly ideological construct – autonomism, as its single meaning. The autonomism thesis is criticized as depraving the events of their vital context, as misinterpreting the organization and character of the autonomous decision-making of collective bodies and as attributing single ideology to a diverse student body, with diverse motivations and ideological commitments.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 43
  • Page Range: 221-243
  • Page Count: 23