Sofia University Lecture Series

(26 March 2014) Populism and personalist parties: the case of Bulgaria by Assistant Prof. Emilia Zankina

When:   26 March, 2014, 19:00
Where:  Sofia University Rectorate, lecture hall 224 (hall America for Bulgaria)

This lecture builds on continuing research that offers a new approach to the study of populism. Adopting a transaction-cost framework, I argue that populism is a political strategy that reduces the transaction costs of politics by increasing the use of informal political institutions in the name of “direct” and “immediate” action. As such, populism contributes to the emergence of personalist parties which, having a dominant leader and weak organizational structure and thus, being a single-, as opposed to a multi-actor organization, reduce transaction costs by definition. I use the Bulgarian case as an illustration of the rise of populism and personalist parties across Europe and as a background upon which to apply the transaction cost framework.

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(26 Feb 2014) The Higgs boson or how the matter is born by Prof. Dr. Leandar Litov

When:   26 February, 2014, 19:00
Where:  Sofia University Rectorate, lecture hall 224 (hall America for Bulgaria)

The physics of elementary particles tries to find answers to two fundamental questions: which are the main components of matter and which are the forces controlling their movement. The answer we provide today is called Standard Model of the strong and electro-weak interactions. The main problem with this model was that it was not clear how do the particles acquire mass. After a short intro to the Standard Model and the mechanism of spontaneous breach of symmetry, prof. LeandarLitov will present experiments which took place in the Large Hadron Collider in CERN. Special attention will be paid to the discovery of a new particle which has properties close to those predicted in the Standard Model Higgs boson.

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(12 Feb 2014) Future Now: Education and Policies for Values, Prof. Lidia Denkova

When:   12 February, 2014, 19:00
Where:  Sofia University Rectorate, lecture hall 224 (hall America for Bulgaria)

Prof. Lidia Denkova holds degrees in Classical Philosophy and Psychology from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.” She obtained her PhD in 1988 with a dissertation on “Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and the Middle-age Bulgarian Culture”. She became an assistant in Bulgarian Acedemy of Science in 1997, an associate professor in 2002 and a professor in 2013 in New Bulgarian University. Currently she teaches Comparative Religion Studies, Ethics, and Aesthetics. She is the author of many research papers on historical and philosophical topics. She also translates from French, Russian, Latin, and Ancient Greek.

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(29 Jan 2014) The Process of Revival by assoc. prof. Mihail Gruev

When:   29 January, 2014, 19:00
Where:  Sofia University Rectorate, lecture hall 224 (hall America for Bulgaria)

Associate Professor Mihail Gruev was born on October 25th 1971 in Sofia. He holds a degree in History from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. He holds a PhD in History with a dissertation topic “The Bulgarian Muslims in the state politics of Bulgaria (1944-1959)”. He began teaching in the Faculty of History in Sofia University in 2002 and became an associate professor in 2009.

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