BlueLink Research

BlueLink Research is an independent research entity which streamlines research and analysis carried out by the BlueLink Foundation in Bulgaria since 2000. It supplies knowledge and analysis for the purposes of strategic planning of the Foundation, as well as for the shaping and implementation of its activities to accomplish its founding mission. BlueLink Research contributes for the shaping of educational and consultancy activities performed by the Foundation’s team. BlueLink also undertakes research as part of different projects and produces scientific reports, publications and analysis for different partners or donor organizations.

Selected BlueLink Publications (click here)


BlueLink Research prioritizes issues, related to the ideal goals of the BlueLink Foundation to:


  • strengthen democracy and civil society;
  • protect and conserve nature;
  • assist the introducing of common European norms and values into Bulgaria;
  • foster development, effectiveness and collaboration of non-for-profit and non-governmental organisations;
  • help their strategic networking and communications online; and
  • launch a forum of free exchange of information on these goals.


BlueLink ‘s research is multidisciplinary and cuts across social and environmental sciences, covering sectors of social geography, internet and media studies, sociology, history, political and environmental science and policy studies. Current areas of particular interest to BlueLink Research include:

Domesticating neoliberalism : the advance and of a market-oriented discourse in the post-socialst social and political sphere, its influence on government, democracy , civil society , journalism (as defined by Smith and Rochovska, 2007);

Empowering 'Voice': following Nick Couldry’s (2010) definition of ‘Voice’ as a challenge to neoliberalism, with particular focus on public voices, civil society and social movements in fields of nature protection, health and wellbeing, individual and collective rights;

Freedom of speech and Bourdieu’s (1998) journalistic ‘field’; journalistic norms, ethics, practices;  the functioning of the ‘Fourth estate’ and journalists’ engagement with public interest, global and local climate, environment and social change; and

The internet - social networking and digital technologies for social and environmental change.



Ongoing research

BlueLink is currently pursuing research as part of the Foundation’s contribution to the following projects and processes:

Journalism in public interest and shifting professional and ethical norms of Bulgarian journalism. BlueLink employs participant observation, semi-structured interviews, internet ethnography and focus groups to study newsroom practices and formats, the motivations and professional identity setting of young journalists. This work is part of BlueLink’s project The Fourth Estate in Young Hands: Journalistic Practice in Public Interest, funded by the NGO support programme of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area  (EEA). Research leader: Dr Pavel Antonov. Contact: pavelan <at>

NGO participation in decision making: a comparative study of existing mechanisms and formats employed by national and local authorities to ensure public participation and access to decision making. The purpose of the project is to analyse the existing practices and formulate recommendations for improvements, including policy changes and setting community standards for representation.  Part of’s contribution of the Participation for Nature project of the Bulgarian Biodiversity Conservation Foundation., funded by EEA. Research leader: Dr Pavel Antonov. Contact: Diana Trifonova, diana <at>

Online mechanisms for citizen-institution communication. This research component collects and analyses comparatively existing online tools for citizens to communicate alerts, grievances or feedback to state or municipal institutions and public service providers. Part of a civil society capacity building project by, and InItLab, funded by EEA.

Analysing litigation in citizens’ extractive and energy industry cases. Evaluation of court practice and citizens’ legal capacity as part of a Extractive and Energy Industry Watch EEA-funded project by the Environmental Law Centre – Sofia and Research leader: Dr. Plamen Peev, contact: peevplamen <at>

Stakeholders' engagement for imroved ecosystem services as part of broader analysis of the state of ecosystems and drafts policy recommendations for enhancing their use by tourist business and communities along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. BlueLink's resarch team employs social science methods to verify findings from research using GIS mapping of ecosystems' degradation, economical and policy analysis. BlueLink's approach, designed by Dr.Pavel Antonov and Dr.Plamen Peev relies on semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, as well as an innovantive method of video documentation for verification of findings. BlueLInk is also in charge of stakeholder engagement and conceptualizing of communication messages and engagement formats. This research is part of a Sectoral Policies to Enhance Commitment for Improve Ecosystem Services in Bulgaria (SPECIES) project, funded by Programme 0303 of the EEA Grants for Bulgaria.

Upcoming and recent events

Online Whistle-blowing and Ethical Journalism: Roundtable Discussion. On Saturday, June 6, from 16.30 EET, at the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate
15 Lyuben Karavelov, Sofia. Exchange of thoughts by IT practitioners, pricacy advocates, legal and media experts on the importance of ethical and professional norms of journalism for safeguarding the privacy of individuals whose names appear in leaked secret documents, as well as the safety of whistleblowers and sources themselves. Event held as part of the Europeean meeting of the Association for Progressive Communications. Read more.