Ruzha Smilova

Programme Director Political Research


Dr. Ruzha Smilova is a program director (political research) at the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and teaches contemporary political philosophy and history of political ideas at the Political Science Department of Sofia University.

At the CLS she is involved in research and policy-related projects on voting behaviour, participation in politics, quality of representative institutions, among others.

Her academic research is focused on such issues as the authority of democracy, normative and positive theories of democracy and the relation media-democracy. 

Dr. Smilova holds a doctorate from the Central European University in Budapest. Her dissertation "A reason-based justification for liberal-democratic authority" received a CEU university award in 2006.

Her most recent publications include:

(2014) "The General Will Constitution: Rousseau as a Constitutionalist", included in Constitutions and the Classics: Patterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham, edited by Denis J. Galligan, Oxford University Press;

(2014) "The Media in Bulgaria: Business Enterprises or PR Divisions of Business Groups?" included in Media Policies Revisited: The Challenge for Media Freedom and Independence, edited by E. Psychogiopoulou, Palgrave Macmillan;

(2015) "Jeremy Waldron on dignity and responsibility-rights: can the tragedy of liberty be avoided?", included in Freedom and its enemies: the tragedy of liberty, edited by Renata Uitz, Eleven Publishing;

(2016) "Informal Politics and Formal Media Structures" (co-authored with Daniel Smilov), included in Media and Politics in New Democracies: Europe in a Comparative Perspective, edited by Jan Zielonka, Oxford University Press.