Albena Azmanova is Reader (Associate Professor) of Political and Social Thought at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. She teaches courses in political and social theory, political communication, and political economy. Her research ranges from democratic transition and consolidation to the dynamics of contemporary capitalism and its effect on ideological orientation and electoral mobilisation. Her first book, The Scandal of Reason: A Critical Theory of Political Judgment (2012) developed a theory of political epistemology, which she then applied to discern the critical and emancipatory power of democratic deliberations. Her subsequent writing has been dedicated to bringing the critique of political economy (back) into critical social theory by scrutinising the mutations of contemporary capitalism. Among her recent publications are Capitalism on Edge. How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia (Columbia University Press, 2020), and “Anti-Capital for the XXIst Century (on the metacrisis of capitalism and the prospects for radical politics),” Philosophy and Social Criticism ( March, 2020).
Dr Azmanova’s research and teaching are animated by her political activism. She took active participation in the dissident movements that brought down the communist regime in her native Bulgaria in 1987-1990 and has remained engaged with transnational progressive social movements. She has been working as a policy advisor to a number of international institutions such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and Transparency International.
She did her doctoral studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, and taught political theory at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po.) in Paris, before joining the BSIS in 2005, where she directs the programmes International Political Economy and Political Strategy and Communication.