From June 11 to 18, AUBG is hosting the international summer school Bulgaria Exchange: Politics in a Democracy Under Stress, organized by the Center for Information, Democracy, and Citizenship (CIDC) at AUBG in cooperation with the Master’s Program for Democracy and Governance at Georgetown University.
Participants will attend discussions and seminars led by prominent scientists, political analysts, journalists, civil society representatives, and public and private sector leaders from Bulgaria. They will review the most important trends in Bulgaria’s democratic development over the past 30 years, as well as the main challenges facing the young Bulgarian democracy.
„Our aspiration is to connect international participants with representatives of academia, civil society, and the public and private sectors in Bulgaria. Thereby hoping to raise awareness of some of the key challenges that young democracies in Eastern Europe are facing through the case study of Bulgaria in the Balkan region,“ said Tihomira Doncheva, Director of CIDC. „We aim to encourage dialogue and support a better understanding of the threats and challenges for the Bulgarian democracy while directing attention to efforts to ensure the sustainability of the democratic process.“
The main topics of the summer school include the political system in Bulgaria, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the role of the media in the fight against disinformation, the state, and prospects for the development of civil society. Throughout the week the participants will engage in activities in different formats like a game to create a government with the current parties elected, and meetings with ministers and entrepreneurs in Sofia. The week will conclude with a tour of the communist heritage in Sofia.
Dr. Elton Skendaj (’00) graduated with a Political Science major from AUBG and obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Currently, he is the Director of the MA program in Democracy and Governance at Georgetown University and an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration at Georgetown University. Dr. Skendaj’s academic interests are related to democratization, civil society mobilization, security sector reform, legal transfers, and anti-corruption policies in the Western Balkans. He publishes in prestigious journals such as Global Governance, Problems of Post-communism, and Journal of Intervention and State Building. Outside of his academic pursuits, Dr. Skendaj has worked on projects with the United Nations, the US Institute of Peace, The Hague Appeal for Peace, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and the Open Society Institute.
The international summer school at AUBG will also include professors and students from the master’s program “Democracy and Management” at Georgetown, as well as representatives of Princeton and “Washington and Lee” universities.
With this first edition of the international summer school, AUBG’s idea is to launch summer programs that focus on the problems of young democracies from the Balkan Peninsula. Future events will be of special interest to foreign diplomats and government officials; civil society practitioners; researchers, analysts, and journalists; teachers, scientists, and students with an interest in political processes in the region.
Interested in the program?