Bending the Law to a Breaking Point: Political Challenges in Local Government

16. 10. 2014
14:00, zasedací místnost Filosofického ústavu AV ČR, v.v.i., Jilská 1, Praha 1

Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences would like to invite you for Thursday seminar with

LYUBA SPASOVÁ from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

who will present her paper

Čtvrteční sociologické semináře

Bending the Law to a Breaking Point: Political Challenges in Local Government

The paper analyzes the mechanisms that allow certain patterns of participation in local government that defy the regularities of law to exist and to be regarded as legitimate. The paper argues that the patterns are a crystallization of the deep and massive anomic processes in all social spheres and levels, a result of the heavy and long existing political and social crisis induced mainly by the cumulative effects of the transformation (in Bulgaria and in other post communist countries). The patterns contradicting the rule of law emerge as an attempt for adaptation and reintegration – as an attempt for creating new structures by introduction of rules and practices form other social spheres. Thus, the most significant factor for the acceptance of the patterns and for approval of the actors accomplishing them is whether or not they (the patterns and/or the actors) are perceived as potentially capable of bringing societal change and reintegration, i.e. the type of pattern that is implemented. The results of the study of the empirical correlates of the patterns show that different types of motives are essential for the attitude towards the particular pattern and the actors implementing it: in the case of the  participation in local government through ritualism (in which the specific-for-the-political-field norms defining the means are kept as valid) the rational motives are the most important ones and in the case of participation through innovation (the actors are guided by the specific- for-the-political-field norms defining the goals) the emotional and moral reasons are decisive.


Lyuba Spasova is a chief assistant researcher at the Social Control, Deviations and Conflicts Department the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy  of Sciences. In 2013 she defended her doctoral thesis in sociology on deviant patterns in local politics. Her most significant recent texts are: Deviant patterns of participation in local government, Sofia, 2013; Postmodern society and education: Factors that make deviations inevitable, in Socialization and deviant behavior, 2013; Deviation as habitus, in Sociology and economy, 3/2013. Her principal research interests are in the areas of sociology of deviance, political sociology, social psychology, cultural sociology.