Global Villages

Global Villages

Rural and Urban Transformations in Contemporary Bulgaria

Edited by Ger Duijzings

Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

‘Global Villages: Rural and Urban Transformations in Contemporary Bulgaria’ aims to broaden the study of globalization from urban to rural contexts, exploring its effects through case studies from postsocialist Bulgaria. 

Hardback, 222 Pages


October 2013

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

This book explores the multiple effects of globalization on urban and rural communities, providing anthropological case studies from postsocialist Bulgaria. As globalization has been studied largely in urban contexts, the aim of this volume is to shift attention to the under-examined countryside and analyse how transnational links are transforming relations between cities, towns and villages in Bulgaria.

Since the opening of borders after the end of socialism (1989) and Bulgaria’s EU accession (2007), rural communities have been drawn into new transnational connections and global ‘shortcuts’ that transcend the framework of the (formerly socialist) nation-state. The case studies of this volume demonstrate that apart from cities, villages and towns are also increasingly exposed to global flows and economic inequalities, resulting in the remaking of rural places. As a result of increased mobility and growing transnational and global connections, boundaries are fading between cities and the countryside and between Bulgaria and Europe. Some Bulgarian villages are winners while others are losers as a result of this development, leading to a situation of extreme rural diversity.

This book aims to challenge undifferentiated notions of ‘the countryside’, calling for a greater awareness of rural economic and social disparities which are often only associated with urban environments. It also focuses on how the ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ have been reconfigured in Bulgaria following the end of socialism and the advent of globalization, in socioeconomic as well as political, ideological and cultural terms. The volume is based on a collection of papers presented at a workshop that took place at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies on 29 and 30 May 2008. 


‘I would recommend this book to anyone researching within the fields of post-socialism, neoliberal restructuring, rural and urban transformations […] [T]he diversity of research contexts offers a broad spectrum of recent research that does justice to the complex and complementary roles that rural and urban localities play in our current global climate.’ —Aneliya Kuzmanova, ‘Martor – The Museum of the Romanian Peasant Anthropology Review’

‘This volume provides impressive evidence that today even in a peripheral country like Bulgaria the village is fully exposed to the dynamics of globalization and Europeanization. The book presents profound insights on the effects of these processes on villages and everyday lives.’ —Klaus Roth, LMU Munich

‘Villages in the Balkans are often portrayed as places of tradition. This illuminating volume proves that such an assertion is totally off the mark, showing the transformative and multidimensional impact of globalization on the postsocialist village. This is a timely book on the ambiguities of rural life in one of Europe’s poorest countries.’ —Ulf Brunnbauer, Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg

‘A fascinating exploration of rural change in Bulgaria, vividly portraying the interconnected challenges of globalization, modernization and postsocialist transition. This important collection highlights a too-often overlooked part of the rural world and is a valuable corrective to the over-emphasis on anglophone experiences in rural studies.’ —Michael Woods, Aberystwyth University

Author Information

Ger Duijzings is reader in the anthropology of Eastern Europe at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.


Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements; Note on Transliteration; Chapter 1: Introduction – Ger Duijzings; Chapter 2: Rural–Urban Relations in a Global Age – Deema Kaneff; Chapter 3: Every Village, a Different Story: Tracking Rural Diversity in Bulgaria – Gerald W. Creed; Chapter 4: Smugglers into Millionaires: Marginality and Shifting Cultural Hierarchies in a Bulgarian Border Town – Galia Valtchinova; Chapter 5: Rural Decline as the Epilogue to Communist Modernization: The Case of a Socialist ‘Model’ Village – Lenka Nahodilova; Chapter 6: No Wealth without Networks and Personal Trust: New Capitalist Agrarian Entrepreneurs in the Dobrudzha – Christian Giordano and Dobrinka Kostova; Chapter 7: Inheritance after Restitution: Modern Legislative Norms and Customary Practices in Rural Bulgaria – Petko Hristov; Chapter 8: Rural, Urban and Rurban: Everyday Perceptions and Practices – Daniela Koleva; Chapter 9: The Koprivshtitsa Festival: From National Icon to Globalized Village Event – Liz Mellish; Chapter 10: Fashioning Markets: Brand Geographies in Bulgaria – Ulrich Ermann; Chapter 11: Greek (Ad)ventures in Sofia: Economic Elite Mobility and New Cultural Hierarchies at the Margins of Europe – Aliki Angelidou and Dimitra Kofti; List of Contributors


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