BlueLink Research

BlueLink Research streamlines research and analysis carried out by the BlueLink Foundation in Bulgaria since 2000 for the shaping and implementation of its activities to accomplish its founding mission. BlueLink Research contributes for the conceptualisation of activities performed by the Foundation. BlueLink also undertakes research as part of different projects and produces scientific reports, publications and analysis for different partners or donor organizations.

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for inquiries and more information write to office [at] bluelink [dot] net (subject: BlueLink%20Research%20Contact) (office (at) bluelink (dot) net).


Scope of BlueLink's Research

BlueLink research covers a broad area defined by the ideal goals of the BlueLink Foundation, which include:

  • strengthening democracy and civil society;
  • protection and conserve nature;
  • fostering the values of United Europe;
  • development, effectiveness and collaboration of civil society actors aiming for progressive social change; and
  • strategic use of the internet and electronic communications for the achieving of the goals, listed above.


BlueLink ‘s research is multidisciplinary and cuts across social, environmental, media and technology sciences and policy research. Current areas of particular interest to BlueLink Research include:

Journalism in public interest and shifting professional and ethical norms of 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. Utilizing Bourdieu’s (1998) concept of a journalistic ‘field’, we study journalistic norms, ethics, practices;  the agency of the so called ‘Fourth estate’; and journalists’ engagement with public interest, individual and collective rights and freedoms - including gender and minority rights, global and local environmental and social change.

Green and progressive social and economic change: we seek to identify technological, economic social and poicy solutions to limit the advance of kleptocracy, oppression, discrimination and greed. We investigate and analyze oligarchic and monopolist interference with government, democracy, civil society and the media; and the role plsyrf by internet technologies and journalism.

Empowering voices of change: we analyze practices, tools and policies to foster citizens' access to information, knowledge and justice, and their participation in governance, utilizing Nick Couldry’s (2010) vision of ‘voice’ as agent of change .


Ongoing and recent research

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

Remembering Europe: Civil Cocity under Pressure Again. Designed to help irestoring the Union's history and diversity and fostering EU citizenship, this project will bring up memories of totalitarian oppression and compare them to the contemporary attempts to suppress critical civil society voices and democratic participation in Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, and elsewhere in CEE. In partnership with the History Department of the Central European University in Budapest, we engage leading analysts of history, politics, media and social movements in CEE in reconstructing the practices of ostracism and loss of citizenship under totalitarian regimes of the past, and comparing them to the methods and rhetoric use by present day politicians and mass media against human-rights, environmentalist and pro-democracy organizations and groups. A Transnational workshop in Budapest in December 2017 connects intersciplinary resarch and practical knowledge to the remembrance of common history to EU's humanist, democratic and environmental values.  Civil society representatives, journalists and political/social researchers engage in public debate over the past and present state of civic participation, and outline responses against government and media pressure. European citizenship and democratic citizen participation on Union level will be promoted. Read more.

Call for Papers/Presentations - Transnational Researcher/Practitioner Workshop at CEU, Budapest

Challenges and best practices of Bulgarian NGOs. Desktop research, questionnaire and semi-structured interviews used to extract practical evidence and enable exchanging of experiences and solutions by civil sociey organisations under pressure. BlueLink contributes to a study by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF) funded by the European Commission. See more here.

Transborder corruption - research as a part of a working group within the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

Tobacco industry interference - gathering evidence of instruments and methods used by tobacco industry in order to promote its interests in politics, education, healthcare and media, in cooperation with the Smoke Free Life Coalition.

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 "Journalism by Women for Women". Read more.

Eco-innovations for Green Economic Change and Shared Prosperity. We map policies that encourage green economic transformation and analyze their practical implementation n Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia. An international conference Eco-innovations for Green Economic Change and Shared Prosperity in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia, held in November 9 – 10, 2017to streamline knowledge, political and activist strategies for transformation to environmental, low-carbon and energy efficient economy, along with increasing prosperity and equity in society. This work is part of a Re-Vision the Economy in the Balkans: Change Policy not Climate project implemented jointly by the BlueLink Foundation, Bulgaria, Networked, Serbia and the Sunrise Association for Sustainable Social and Economic Development Sunrise, Macedonia, and the Green European Foundation in Brussels. Read more.

Impact of international internet governance fora in Bulgaria - a country chapter for the 2017 edition of the Global Interet Society Watch annual report by the Association for Progressive Communications.

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 project analyses existing practices and formulates 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 Grants. Download the report here (in Bulgarian).

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. See more at the web site

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: plamen [at] bluelink [dot] net (subject: Participation%20and%20Access%20Research%20Contact) (plamen (at) bluelink (dot) net).

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. Access the Impact Assesment Report for Ecosystem Services along the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria (in Bulgarian)

Researchers and research team members