In: Journal of Democracy, Vol 29, No 3, 2018, pp. 91-103
The author discusses 'patterns of democratic backsliding' in Eastern Europe, but concentrates primarily on 'constitutional retrogression' in Bulgaria. The article argues that the declining political influence of the middle class has undermined respect for the rule of law, so enabling 'oligarchic networks' to capture key parts of the judiciary, and undermining media independence. Ganev describes Borissov's personalistic form of governing, suggesting this can be conceptualised as 'soft decisionism'.