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Description - Free to Hate: How Media Liberalization Enabled Right-Wing Populism in Post-1989 Bulgaria by Martin Marinos

Linking neoliberalism with the Right’s global rise

Bulgaria’s media-driven pivot to right-wing populism parallels political developments taking place around the world. Martin Marinos applies a critical political economy approach to place Bulgarian right-wing populism within the structural transformation of the country’s media institutions. As Marinos shows, media concentration under Western giants like Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung and News Corporation have led to a neoliberal turn of commercialization, concentration, and tabloidization across media. The Right have used the anticommunism and racism bred by this environment to not only undermine traditional media but position their own outlets to boost new political entities like the nationalist party Ataka. Marinos’s ethnographic observations and interviews with local journalists, politicians, and media experts add on-the-ground detail to his account. He also examines several related issues, including the performative appeal of populist media and the money behind it.

A timely and innovative analysis, Free to Hate reveals where structural changes in media intersect with right-wing populism.

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