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Abstract

This paper describes the crisis faced by the cooperatives in Bulgaria during the period of transition beginning in 1990 when the collapse of the socialist agricultural system started. It examines the transformation of the agrarian relations based on a case study of four villages located in the northeastern part of Bulgaria (the region of Dobrudzha). It points to the declining significance of the cooperatives in the new environment and analyzes the basic reasons for their crisis. The conclusion is that the cooperatives have failed to adapt successfully to the changed economic and political situation in the 1990s rather insisting on continuing with the old socialist mechanisms of collective production lacking new high tech investments and young people with initiative. The philosophy of the transition emphasizing the individual rather than the collective has contributed to the political isolation of the cooperatives and, as a consequence, to their lack of investments and credit.

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