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Publications

Document type
Year of publishing
Subject
Strengthening Civic Cohesion in Europe (2024)
In response to the challenges faced by the European Union, in partnership with the European Policy Centre, we explored the concept of “civic cohesion” as an essential framework to rejuvenate civic engagement across Europe. Based on the research, we prepared a report with results and recommendations for its strengthening.
Lessons for Civic Education
There are huge differences in the way Eastern European countries experienced the transition from communism to democracy – stories of rapid progress and of persisting stagnation; of reconciliation and of war; of gain and of loss; of new mobility and of enduring restriction; of democratization and of democratic recession. While the economic and political implications are what has been mostly discussed, the impact on the culture and civility of people has been neglected. This small collection of essays captures the key challenges of transition, its impact of today's state of democracy, and the subsequent implications for civic education.
GENERATION OF TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE (2019)
There are huge differences in the way Eastern European countries experienced the transition from communism to democracy – stories of rapid progress and of persisting stagnation; of reconciliation and of war; of gain and of loss; of new mobility and of enduring restriction; of democratization and of democratic recession. While the economic and political implications are what has been mostly discussed, the impact on the culture and civility of people has been neglected. This small collection of essays captures the key challenges of transition, its impact of today's state of democracy, and the subsequent implications for civic education.
MAPPING TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE (2017)
With rise of populism, illiberalism and xenophobia in EU’s Eastern Europe, a key question has become “what went wrong?”. Eastern Europe needs a different approach, which begins with a closer look into both the communist period and the variety of transitional experiences of the past. We aim to demonstrate that unless political culture  becomes a centerpiece of the democratization efforts, transition will be continuously perceived by many citizens as a failure. Legacies of the past will continue to loom in the present, opening space for illiberal and populist forces to determine the future of democracy.
25 YEARS OF CHANGES: BOUNDARIES AND THE PERIODISATION OF THE TRANSITION, THE INSTITUTIONS AND THE DEMOCRACY QUALITY IN BULGARIA (2015)
The publication is a collection of papers presented during the academic conference “25 Years of Change” - part of Sofia Platform's initiative “25 Years Free Bulgaria”, which celebrated the 25 anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev. The collection contains a number of high quality scholarly analyses focusing of the transition as a process, the transition experience of the countries in Eastern Europe, the politics and faces of transition and finally, on how the past can influence the process of transition.
UNREWARDING CROSSROADS? (2015)
Our collection “Unrewarding crossroads? The Black Sea Region amidst the European Union and Russia”, edited by Anahit Shirinyan and Louisa Slavkova, is designed to gather expertise from the region and beyond in order to highlight the foreign policy challenges currently faced by the Black Sea countries. The project was funded by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The publication is printed with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation.
CATALOGUE "25 YEARS OF FREEDOM IN BULGARIA" (2015)
Anniversaries have a lot to do with the culture of remembrance. And while in other parts of Europe 2014 was marked by the 100th anniversary of the “Great war”, for us Eastern Europeans, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a good moment to draw a balance-sheet – 25 years ago a regime fell, which had enforced inhumane political standards, had led to the social and economic catastrophe of whole regions and states. What went right and what went wrong in the years of transition from a totalitarian rule to pluralism and democracy?
WHY SHOULD WE REMEMBER? (2021)
The victims of the totalitarian regimes in Europe, including the victims of the communist regime in Bulgaria, are not a topic we often talk about at school, at home, or with friends. The summer school “Why should we remember?” organized by the Sofia Platform Foundation with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, gathers annually around 20 youngsters from all over Bulgaria who become part of the community of “ambassadors of memory”. The following zine was created by the participants in our 2019 summer school “Why should we remember?” with the help of Krasimira Butseva, photography lecturer and artist, and Julian Chehirian, historian and artist. The zine tells an emotional story, captured in the words and pictures from the participants’ experiences in Belene.
The Freedom Tour
TEACHER'S GUIDE FOR CIVIC EDUCATION FOR GRADE 11 (2021-2022)
To support civic education teachers, together with the European Commission in Bulgaria we have created a free tool for teachers to help them inspire their students to be alert and active citizens. The aid is the result of teamwork and the knowledge of some of the biggest experts in the field of civic education in Bulgaria. A paper version is also available.
HANDBOOK ON CIVIC EDUCATION FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS SUPPORTING TEACHERS IN CLASS (2022)
In support of teachers, as well as all future and current volunteer legal practitioners, we created a handbook focusing on law-related topics within the civics curriculum. The project is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Street Law, Inc., Sofia Platform, UnitedLex and the financial support of the U.S. Embassy Sofia. Thanks to the authors Benjamin Perdue, Borislav Dimitrov (Penkov), Asst. Dr. Evelina Vardzhiiska-Ivanova, Lee Arbetman, Sylvia Vaskova, Yavor Siderov.
CASE LESSON 30 YEARS FROM NOVEMBER 10, 1989 (2019)
This year we celebrate 30 years since the beginning of the transition to a democratic society with a lesson and materials for teaching the events around November 10, 1989. Our experts Momchil Metodiev, historian, and Bistra Stoimenova, specialist in history teaching methodology, with the institutional support of The Ministry of Education and Science (MES) developed the following materials for use in class: 1. lesson and 2. work materials (methodical guidelines, worksheet, chronology of events around 1989). We extend an invitation to all of you to use the materials to teach a lesson in the week surrounding the anniversary.
LESSON PLAN FOR "REVIVAL PROCESS" (2018)
Within the framework of the project 'Experience of state socialism reimagined (ESSR)', financed under the Erasmus+ program, we developed a lesson dedicated to the so-called Revival process in Bulgaria. We present the topic through photos and memories of participants in the process, with the goal being that the students discuss the sources and thus derive the main messages of the lesson themselves. More information about the project, as well as the lesson plans developed by our partners, can be seen here.
INSTRUMENTS FOR TEACHING HISTORY: LESSONS FROM THE PAST (2017)
A primary impediment in teaching history of the Bulgarian communist period is the lack of adequate teacher trainings on contemporary teaching methods. This is especially true when it comes to the recent past because many teachers have witnessed this period personally. The methods, included in this manual, have been tested with over 200 history teachers from the entire country. With their help, we created this publication. The book is targeted at high school history teachers but the instruments can be used by anyone teaching civic education. The book is available in Bulgarian.
HISTORY COLLECTION ON COMMUNISM IN BULGARIA: WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE '89? (2017)
After working with thousands of students and hundreds of history teachers in the past three years we have come to the conclusion that they do not find the study material about the recent past engaging or adequate. For this reason, with the help of leading historians, we published an accessible and easy-to-read collection composed of the nine most important topics, related to communism in Bulgaria. Our goal is not to replace, but to complement the history textbook by giving students the opportunity to learn important, and sometimes little known, fact about the period before ’89. The book is available in Bulgarian.
The story of Georgi Saraivanov and why it is important to know our past. Louisa Slavkova for Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s blog. ...
Momchil Metodiev talks about our right to insist that security services in democratic countries are different from those in communist regimes and that their distinction lies in the consequences o...
Read the impressions of the participants in the kick-off meeting for the project “Mapping a generation in transition”, conducted in Sofia in May 2015 and hosted by Sofia Platform....
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