Institute of Balkan Studies with Center for Thracology "Prof. Alexander Fol"

The Institute of Balkan Studies with Center for Thracology “Prof. Alexander Fol” is a main national research center and coordinator in the field of Balkan Studies in Southeast Europe.

Scientific activity

Innovation and competitiveness characterize scientific projects and broad-based scientific networks at national and international level. Interdisciplinary research, conducted by the Institute, on the history and modern development of Southeastern Europe and their comparative character are of priority importance for both Bulgarian society and the country as well as for Europe, in view of the accelerated EU integration processes affecting the countries in the region. The persistent scientific interest of the researchers concerns issues related to Thracology, Byzantinism, Orientalistics as well as Balkan cultures and European studies are a significant aspect of the work of the Balkanists, in building and consolidating the notions of an enlarged Europe.

Through its research and educational activities, IBSCT aims to contribute to a new understanding of historical facts, to encourage a broader comparative approach and up-to-date methodology in studying the history of the region, taking into account the ethnic and cultural diversity of Southeast Europe.

IBSCT is an active participant in the extension of the integrated European Research Area network. Over the last five decades, the Institute of Balkan Studies has been working closely with the Balkan Studies Institutes in Bucharest, Belgrade, Thessaloniki, Athens, Moscow and others, through the International Association for Southeast Europe Studies (AIESEE). Its partners are Harvard University (USA), Roma-Tre University (Italy), the Chinese Center for the Study of Ancient Civilizations in Beijing (China) and others.

In 2015, IBSCT was the main organizer of the XIth International Congress on Southeast European Studies under the auspices of UNESCO on “Southeast Europe and European Integration: Political, Socio-Economic and Cultural Aspects”. The high-level scientific forum gathered in Sofia the world academic elite in the field of Balkan studies, with over 250 participants and guests from 26 countries.

The Center for Thracology became part of the Institute after 2010. It is the seat of the International Council for Indo-European and Thracian Studies, established in 1988. The strong participation of the scholars in the two international congresses in thracology in recent years – in Turkey and Romania, led to the nomination of Bulgaria hosting the XIII Congress of Thracology in 2017.

The time of more than half a century that passed (53 years of the Institute of Balkan Studies and 45 years of the Institute of Thracology) proved not only the broad chronological range of the rich issues mastered in the field of Thracology, Byzantinism, Ottomanism, the new and the latest history of the countries of Southeast Europe, the Balkan culture; during these decades, collaborators were able to capitalize time building on the achievements of their predecessors.

Educational activity

Doctoral programs:

2.2. History and Archaeology:

  • Old History and Thracology;
  • Medieval general history;
  • New and newest general history;
  • Documentation and archival science, palaeography (including historiography and source studies).


  • Balkan literature and cultures.

3.1. Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies.

  • Theory and history of culture.


International relations