Dr. John Paul Newman's recent research fellowship in Sofia

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 13:00

From October 2019 until February 2020, Dr. Newman was an ‘Advanced Academic Fellow’ at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Sofia, Bulgaria working on two new research projects. The first was a study of the demobilization (or not) of former Balkan guerrilla fighters during the interwar period. The project used paramilitary fighters in Serbia and Bulgaria to look at the interaction of the Balkan revolutionary tradition and European/Global ideologies of mass mobilization such as international communism and fascism. This research will result in a working paper to be published by the Centre for Advanced Studies later this year. 

Dr. Newman's second project - closely related to the first - is a study of the formation of Balkan national armies in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Here the research focuses on three important questions, 1) how the national armies did or did not supplant the Balkan insurrectionary tradition of the earlier part of the nineteenth century, 2) how universal conscription was intended as a school of citizenship in Balkan societies (and how successful this was), and 3) the extent to which the formation of a professional officer corps in Balkan national states created a potential rival to the civilian political leaderships. At the beginning of December 2019 Dr. Newman led a workshop and discussion sessions on this topic. 

Dr. Newman also participated in November 2019 in the annual conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEES) in San Francisco, discussing the legacies of post-socialism and political transition in contemporary East-Central Europe.