Vasil Paraskevov was the Sotirov Fellow for the academic year 2012-2013.
Dr Paraskevov, in a short report detailing his research and experience as a Sotirov Fellow, writes that the "LSE IDEAS experience was overall invaluable. Furthermore the excellent and stimulating environment at LSE Ideas made my research in London not only particularly useful but also a rather enjoyable period. I really hope that our contacts and cooperation will continue in the future." Read his full experience here.
Vasil Paraskevov is Associate Professor of Modern Bulgarian history in the Department of History and Archeology at Konstantin Preslavsky University. He completed his PhD thesis on The Bulgarian Agrarian National Union: Nikola Petkov, 1945–1947 (in Bulgarian) in 2006. Dr Paraskevov was a visiting Leverhulme Fellow at Loughborough University in the academic year 2007-2008. In 2007 he received a research grant under Oxford Colleges Hospitality Scheme and in 2011 a research grant of the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Free University in Berlin. In 2011 he spent a teaching period at the University of Lodz under Erasmus Teaching Mobility. His research interests include the history of British-Bulgarian relations, Bulgarian anti-communist opposition and Bulgarian political émigrés during the Cold War. His monograph on British-Bulgarian relations, Bulgaria and Great Britain Before and in the Beginning of the Cold War: Politics, Economy and Propaganda, 1944-1953 (in Bulgarian), was published by Konstantin Preslavsky University Press (2011). His other publications include Conflict and Necessity: British-Bulgarian Relations, 1944-1956, published in The Journal of Cold War History in May 2011; Small, but Vociferous: Bulgarian Ethnic Anti-communist Groups in the U.S., published in Ieva Zake (ed). Ethnic Anti-Communism in the United States (New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 2009), and a forthcoming chapter on Bulgaria and Its Turkish Minority, 1944-1974, which will be published in Robert Knight (ed). Ethnicity and the Cold War (London: Continuum).
Dr Paraskevov’s research at the LSE Ideas Centre is entitled Encounters with Southeastia: Bulgaria in the Balkan Policy of Great Britain, 1953-1979. It expands his interest to Britain and Bulgaria beyond the Stalinist years and the height of the Cold War. This research connects together cultural, social and diplomatic issues, and seeks to identify how the knowledge in the Foreign Office of developments in Bulgaria and in the region was reflected in the elaboration and implementation of British policy. The project has both empirical and theoretical objectives. First, it examines what British reports regarding Bulgaria showed not only in terms of its politics and military power but also in terms of its cultural specifics, experience of Britons who visited the country, Bulgarian contacts with them, economic situation, citizens’ reactions and attitude to the power. Second, it tries to find out how British officials evaluated Bulgaria and why they undertook one or another course. On this stage should be specified the long- and short-term objectives of British diplomacy, distinctions between Bulgaria and other Balkans countries, etc. Third, in the final part will be addressed a wider theoretical perspective regarding British foreign policy, the region and the borders of real European division.