Assoc. Prof. Dr. Peter Ruggenthaler

Doz. Mag. Dr. Peter Ruggenthaler was born in Klagenfurt, Austria. He studied History and Slavic Studies. Since 1998 he had been a researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences, Graz, Austria (BIK).Member of the Russian-Austrian Historians’ Commission (since 2008).Coordinator of several international research projects on Soviet history in the Cold War. Since 2018 he is vice-director of the BIK.

Fields of research: Cold War; Soviet Union; Diplomatic history; Forced labour in the “Third Reich”

Author of numerous publications, among them the monography The Concept of Neutrality in Stalin´s Foreign Policy,1945-53. (Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series , 2015), Soviet Occupation of Romania, Hungary and Austria, 1944/45–1948/49 (Co-editor, 2015); Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Harvard Cold WarStudies Book Series (Co-editor, 2010); Stalins großer Bluff. Die Geschichte der Stalin-Note in Dokumenten der sowjetischen Führung. (Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Bd.95, 2007).

Dr. Maximilian Graf

Dr. Maximilian Graf is a historian who specializes in Cold War Studies, the History of Communism, and Austrian contemporary history in international perspective. He is currently research fellow in the ERC project “Unlikely refuge? Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century” (, affiliated with the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences. After earning his PhD in history from the University of Vienna in 2012 he held Post-Doc positions and fellowships at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Vienna (2012–2016), the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin (2013), Stanford University (2017), the European University Institute in Florence (2017–2019), and the Austrian Historical Institute in Rome (2019–2020). His first book on Austrian-East German relations in the Cold War “Österreich und die DDR 1949–1990. Politik und Wirtschaft im Schatten der deutschen Teilung” (Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2016) was awarded several prizes. For further details and publications, see:,

Anna Steiner, researcher BIK, Ph.D. student

Anna Steiner studied History and Russian language. She is a junior fellow at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on Consequences of War in Graz, Austria. Her main research fields include Austrian-Soviet Relations in the Cold War and Neutrality in the Cold War. She is currently writing her PhD thesis on the role of Austria in Soviet foreign policy strategy, 1969-1975, and working on a project on Soviet-Austrian economic and trade relations 1955-1964.

For further details and publications, see:


Professor Alexandre Kostov

Prof. Alexandre Kostov is a Corresponding Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and holds as well as a Ph.D. in history and the advanced degree of Doctor of Sciences in history. He has specialised at universities and research centers in Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. He is a specialist in the field of modern and contemporary Balkan history. From 2010 to 2018 he was the Director of the Institute of Balkan Studies and Center for Thracology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and since 2018 he is the Head of the Department for Contemporary Balkans at the same institute. Since 2015 he has been the President of the International Association for Southeast Europe Studies (AIESEE). Professor A. Kostov has been the head of numerous national and international research projects. His main fields of interest are economic history and international relations, especially relations between Western Europe and the Balkans from the late 19th century to the present. Professor Kostov is the author of many publications in Bulgaria and abroad, including works concerning Bulgaria's foreign economic relations during the Cold War. He has also published articles on various aspects of Bulgarian-Austrian relations up to the Second World War.

Selected publications: Kostov, A. La Bulgarie face à l’américanisation au XXe siècle. In: Barjot, D., I. Lescent-Gille, M. de Ferrière de Vayer (sous la dir.) L’américanisation en Europe au XXe siècle: économie, culture, politique. Vol. I. Lille, 2002, 329-336; Kostov, A. L’industrie touristique en Bulgarie et en Roumanie sur le littoral de la mer Noire (1945-1989). - In: Tissot, L. (éd.) Construction d’une industrie touristique au XIXe et XXe siécles. Perspectives internationales/ Construction of a Tourist Industry in the XIXth et XXth Century. International Perspectives. Neuchâtel, Alphil, 2003, 231-240; Костов, Ал. От противници в Студената война до партньори в Европейския съюз. Българо-белгийските отношения от Втората световна война до наши дни. София, ArtMC, 2007, 232 с. ; Kostov, A. The Economic Relations between Bulgaria and Italy (1945 – 1953). - Etudes balkaniques, 2016, 4, 603-628; Kostov, A.The Trade Relations of China with Bulgaria and Romania in the East-European Context (1950 – 1978), Etudes balkaniques, 2017, LІІІ, 4, 705-728. Balkani

Professor Nadia Boyadjieva

Prof. Nadia Boyadjieva holds an advanced Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) degree in international law as well as a Ph.D. in history. As a professor of international law and international relations, she has held appointments at prestigious European and U.S. academic institutions and universities through the Fulbright Commission, NATO/EAPC, the Salzburg-Seminar, CDC/CEU, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute She has nearly a quarter century of teaching experience at various Bulgarian universities, offering courses on international relations, regional security, human rights, EU, NATO and Russia, and security in Southeast Europe and the Balkans. Her lengthy book Международните отношения (2017) has become a standard textbook for advanced university courses on international relations. She has been invited as a guest professor in Europe, the United States, China and Russia. Her research and publications have been mainly in the fields of diplomacy, international relations, security studies, nationalism, minority rights, and international peacekeeping and peace enforcement. She has participated in a variety of international research projects. She is a founding member and coordinator of the Bulgarian Group for Cold War Studies and is a member of the International Law Association (Sofia) and the International Association of International Law (London). Professor Boyadjieva is a member of the editorial boards of three leading peer-reviewed journals: the Journal of Cold War Studies (Harvard University), the Journal of tInternational Politics (South-West University, Blagoevgrad), and Journal Studia luris (Plovdiv University). She has published six books and dozens of scholarly articles, including “The USSR and Yugoslavia’s Policy of Nonalignment, 1955–1980” (Chapter 16) –in The Soviet Union and Cold War Neutrality and Nonalignment in Europe, edited by Mark Kramer; Aryo Makko and Peter Ruggenthaler (Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series. 20. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2021), pp. 356-375; “Bulgarien und die deutsche ‘Ostpolitik’” in Entspannung im Kalten Krieg. Der Weg zum Moskauer Vertrag und zur KSZE, edited by Michael Borchard, et al. (Leykam Buchverlags GmbH Nfg. & Co. KG, Vienna, 2020), pp. 535-543; “Russian Security Strategy in the Balkans” (Chapter 31) in Routledge Handbook of Russian Security, edited by Roger Kanet (New York: Routledge, 2019, pp. 358-376.

Biser Banchev, PhD

Dr. Biser Banchev is a specialist in modern Balkan history. He works at the Institute of Balkan Studies with the Center of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In 2005 he specialized at the Austrian Institute of East and South-East European Studies, Vienna. His research interests include the modern history of Serbia and Montenegro; the break-up of Yugoslavia; nationalism, geopolitics and international relations in Southeast Europe. He emphasized on the impact of the Cold War on international relations in the Balkans in the 1980s. He has been a member of the editorial boards of the journal Geopolitika (Sofia) and Međunarodna politika (Belgrade).

Selected publications related: Banchev, B. USA against Yugoslavia in 1984? Misunderstandings concerning Directive 133 of President Reagan. САЩ срещу Югославия . - Анамнеза, 2008, 3, с. 145-165 (in Bulgarian); Banchev, B. How Balkanization replaced Lebanization during the Breakup of Yugoslavia. - Etudes Balkaniques (Sofia), 2012, 1, 43-52;

Banchev, B. The Case of Mate Meštrović - How the Croatian Anti-Communist Emigration Celebrated the 1300th Anniversary of the Bulgarian State. – В: Първев, Ив., Кайчев, Н., Баръмова М. (съст.) Централна Европа и Балканите XIX – XX век. Сборник в памет на проф. Милчо Лалков. София, УИ „Св. Кл. Охридски”, 2019, 367-382 (in Bulgarian); Banchev, B.Tito's Death and Bulgarian Foreign Policy. - In: Калинова, Е. (Съст.) България и Балканите през ХХ век: външна политика и публична дипломация. София, Университетско издателство „Св. Климент Охридски“, 2021, 322-343 (in Bulgarian).

Assistant Professor Dimitar Dobrev, PhD

Dimitar Dobrev has a bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in diplomacy and international relations from Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. In 2021 he defended his PhD dissertation “NATO and Greek-Yugoslav Relations (1952-1967)”. After earning his PhD in history, he became part of the team of the Department “Contemporary Balkans” at the Institute of Balkan Studies and Center for Thracology (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences). His research interests include military history, NATO, contemporary history of Southeast Europe, and United States policy toward countries in the region during the Cold War.

Selected publications: Dobrev, D. American Policy of “Containment” of Communism in Southeast Europe and the Greek-Yugoslav Rapprochement.– In: Империи и имперско наследство на Балканите. Сборник в чест на 70-годишнината на проф. Людмил Спасов. Т.2, Пловдив, 2019 (in Bulgarian); Dobrev, D. The Reflection of the Korean War in the Greek-Yugoslav Rapprochement and the Role of the USA in it (1950-1952). – Пловдивски исторически форум, 1, 2019. (in Bulgarian)

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