I was a visiting PhD student at CSD for five months in 2016. I worked on a comparative project focusing on the transnational illicit trafficking in cultural goods, and Bulgaria served as one of my case studies. During my stay at CSD, I examined the structure, the patterns, and the social organisation of the illicit antiquities market in Bulgaria. The CSD staff has been very supportive in my research, especially in providing access to public institutions, and background information on crime levels in the country. A part from conducting interviews, while at CSD I was also able to contribute to an ongoing project with background research. I enjoyed the diversity of research programmes at the Center as well as the possibility to participate in workshops and conferences.
PhD Candidate, Criminology, School of International Studies, University of Trento, Italy
Cynthia M. Horne
Associate Professor of Political Science, Western Washington University
Cynthia M. Horne is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. Her areas of research interest include post-communist political and economic transitions, transitional justice measures, and comparative development questions. In particular, her current research project explores the claims about the restorative properties of transitional justice by examining the actual impact of the measures in the context of the transitions in post-communist states. In particular, have transitional justice measures, such as lustration, truth telling and accountability, and file access, had a positive or negative impact on the transitions in post-communist countries? Does transitional justice catalyze greater trust or foment distrust? Does it impact corruption levels and democratization?
While at the CSD, Prof Horne focused on the case of Bulgaria as part of her comparative book project on regional transitional justice programs. She examined how Bulgaria’s file access, public disclosure and accompanying transitional justice approach have affected trust in public institutions, trust in the national government, interpersonal trust, and perceptions of corruption. The CSD was invaluable in providing research assistance, facilitating interviews, and providing background information on the Bulgarian experience. During her time at the CSD, Prof Horne obtained research materials and conducted interviews that will be used to compare the experience of Bulgaria to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Doctoral Researcher, Politics, University of Manchester
My three month experience as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Democracy in the summer of 2011 one was a very rewarding one. Working with colleagues with backgrounds in Bulgarian politics, economics and society informed my research into Bulgarian energy policy. Their insights and expertise proved invaluable in enriching my data, and the understanding of it. As well as enhancing my PhD research, I also gained experience in contributing to a background report on the Bulgarian energy sector for the CSD. Sofia was a very interesting city to be based in for a summer too (as was the rest of the country), and the Center's cafeteria staff deserve praise for their consistently excellent food!
I hope all is well; I still miss the cafeteria there! I have an article under review at a journal focusing on my Bulgarian energy research, so I will let you know if that is published (I also attach a recent publication of mine on EU energy policy in general, also found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512010798#).