The Centre for Liberal Strategies Foundation

The Centre for Liberal Strategies Foundations (CLS) is an independent, non-profit public policy institute operating in public benefit since 1994. The CLS team combines a strong academic background with various forms of involvement in the political
process, civil society, and governmental institutions. The CLS has a long tradition in
conducting social research and developing evidence-based policy papers. In political analysis, CLS has used innovative techniques to both understand and influence the
political process. It develops programs to study from a policy point of view various
aspects of political and social processes, institutional changes, and security in the
countries of South East and East-Central Europe, the EU, and beyond.
With respect to economic analysis, CLS maintains a constant focus on
macroeconomic processes, and on various economic factors for long-term development and growth. Maintaining and expanding a large data set, it uses the accumulated
knowledge about the regional economies to participate in an informed manner in
public debates on different political and institutional decisions facing the region.

Key personnel

Dr. Ruzha Smilova: graduated Philosophy (Sofia University) and Political Science MA (distinction) and Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at the Central European University, and specialized political theory at Oxford University. She is an Assistant Professor of political theory at Sofia University and is a Programme Director (political research) at the CLS. At CLS she has done research on post-transition politics and quality of democratic institutions, the relation politics–media, the role of media, NGO and thinks tanks in new democracies, and others. Her most recent publications include: Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Challenges and Opportunities. Bulgaria Country Report, ERSTE Publishing (2017), “Problems with Independence of Regulatory Bodies in Bulgaria: analytical report and policy report” (in Bulgarian, 2017), “Informal Politics and Formal Media Structures” in New Democracies. Europe in a Comparative Perspective, ed. by Jan Zielonka, Oxford University Press 2015, 197-213, co-authored with Smilov, D.), “The Media in Bulgaria: Business Enterprises or PR Divisions of Business Groups?” in Media Policies Revisited, Palgrave Macmillan 2014, 175-187

Daniel Smilov is a comparative constitutional lawyer and political scientist. He is Programme Director at the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Recurrent Visiting Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Central European University, Budapest, and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Sofia. He holds doctorates from the University of Oxford (DPhil, 2003) and the Central European University, Budapest (SJD, 1999, summa cum laude). Dr. Smilov is co-author (with Martin Tisne) of From the Ground Up: Assessing the Record of Anticorruption Assistance in Southeast Europe, CEU Press, 2004, co-editor (with Denis Galligan) of Administrative Law in Central and Eastern Europe, CEU Press, 1999, co-editor (together with Jurij Toplak) of Political Finance and Corruption in Eastern Europe, Ashgate, 2007, and co-editor with Grigorij Mesežnikov and Oľga Gyárfášová of Populist Politics and Liberal Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe (2008). More recently, his publications include: “The Judiciary: The Least Dangerous Branch?” in Michel Rosenfeld and Andras Sajo (eds.), The Oxford Handbook in Comparative Constitutional Law, OUP, 2012, “Populism of fear: Eastern European perspectives” in The Changing Faces of Populism: the systemic challenges in Europe and the US (2013), “Constitutionalism of Shallow Foundations” in Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions, Cambridge UP (2013), “Democratic Innovation and the Politics of Fear: Lessons from Eastern Europe”, in Governance Report 2017, OUP 2017.

For more information about the Centre for Liberal Strategies Foundation, please visit their website.