Home / Science / Research Еxcellence 2008-2013 / Autonomy, Critique and Expertise. Critical Sociology of Social Sciences in Transitions


Name of Excellence: Autonomy, Critique and Expertise. Critical Sociology of Social Sciences in Transitions

Author: Prof. Liliana Deyanova, Department of Sociology

Research domain: General and Historical Sociology


Liliana Deyanova i s a Professor of General and Historical Sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Sociology.

She is one of the founders and directors of the Research Centre for Social Sciences at the Department of Sociology, member of the Institute for Critical Social Studies.

Her research and publications are in the field of the sociological theory, sociology of the social sciences, historical sociology of socialism and postcommunism, theory of historical memory.



Prof. Liliana Deyanova

The study summarizes the theoretical, methodological and empirical research of the author on the fundamental transformations in the production of knowledge and in the autonomy of the social sciences.

The research objective is in the tradition of the historical sociology of Max Weber and the reflexive sociology of Pierre Bourdieu to carry out a critical analysis of the new scientific practices and “capitalisation of knowledge”.

The study demonstrates how the scientific policies, reforms and “good practices” redefine the relations between the market and the academic world, increase the unequal access to knowledge, fragmentize the field of social science and threaten its public nature and autonomy. The new type of institutions for expert knowledge – the so-called think-tanks – are described and the question is raised how to regard their role in Bulgaria after 1989 and their link to the neoliberal global agendas of “promotion of democracies” without taking recourse to conspiracy theories.

The autonomy and integration of the social sciences into the ideological apparatuses of the socialist state are analyzed as well as the codifi cation of the “memory of communism” and the problems of post-communist and post-national historiography.

The study contributes to the critical theories of the late capitalism and the sociology of social sciences as to the practices of the educational and scientific policies.

The study has been carried out within the framework of projects and collaborations with scientists from the Research Centre for Social Sciences at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”; Université Laval, Canada; the Pierre Bourdieu Foundation; the Institute for Critical Social studies, Bulgaria; The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; the Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, Ljubljana; the Center for the Study of Balkan Societies and Cultures (CSBSC); the University of Graz; EHESS, Paris; University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; University of Leipzig.

The study is financed by the National Research Fund of the Ministry of Education and Science, ASO – Аustria; AUF – Amérique du Nord; the Université Laval, Québec; Fondation MSH, Paris; Volkswagen Foundation.