The section was established in the context of strengthening State policies on nation-linked issues during the last decades of the Socialist period mostly with regard to dissonances with Yugoslavia related to so-called Macedonian Question. In 1978 on initiative of Prof. Lyubomir Panayotov a discussion-and-research group was set apart under the name National liberation movements under the Capitalism and attached to the Section Bulgaria under Capitalism with the Institute on History. On the basis of that group in 1980 was formed a separate section named National liberation movement after the Berlin Treaty. Thematic research was initially focused on different aspects of history of the lands dwelt by Bulgarian populations – in Macedonia, Thrace, Dobroudja and the Western Outlands left behind the frontiers of the national territory after 1878 or fallen into neighbouring countries by virtue of the treaties signed in 1913 and 1919. Besides some experienced scholars in 1980s a number of young historians joined the section or they were purposely prepared to join it through conducting their doctoral theses therein. Efforts were directed towards preparing and publishing collection books with Bulgarian or foreign documents, collective writings, personal monographs and articles.
Changes occurred after 1989 during the Bulgarian transition to democracy led to amending section’s name, makeup, subject matters and activity. In 1994 it acquired a new name – History of Bulgarian ethnic territories and communities after 1878. In 1998 the section received its current name – History of the Bulgarian National Question. Section staff was reduced but was renewed by younger scholars joining it. Themes of research were enriched. Besides fulfilling individual scientific projects the section members were actively involved in important collective writings or themselves have been initiating such: e.g. “National Liberation movement of the Macedonian and Thracian Bulgarians, 1878-1944”, v. 1-4; the multivolume “History of Bulgaria”, v. 9; “History of Dobroudja”, v. 4; “Almanac of Bulgarian national movements after 1878“; histories of individual localities, etc. The expert activity heightened drastically; so was participation of section members in the media. Relations with external scientific entities intensified significantly, namely with the Sofia-based Macedonian Scientific Institute and the Thracian Scientific Institute, with historians from other institutes and universities, regional museums and research groups. International contacts were established and maintained, in particular with scholars and institutions in neighbouring and similar to Bulgaria countries.
In this section the history of the Bulgarian national question is dealt with as an entirety of ethnic, civil, territorial and identity-bound, domestic and international, political, demographic, social, economic and cultural aspects in Modern and Contemporary times. There are analyzed past and present of national and minority movements of Bulgarian communities situated behind the Bulgarian state territory, as well as the respective movements of refugees originating from their circles and movements of the minorities in Bulgaria itself.
The section was headed by Prof. Lyubomir Panayotov, Prof. Yordan Zarchev, Prof. Doyno Doynov, Prof. Dobrin Michev, Assoc. Prof. Zheko Popov, Assoc. Prof. Lâchezar Stoyanov, Prof. Angel Dimitrov, Assoc. Prof. Alexander Grebenarov, Assoc. Prof. Dimitâr Mitev, Assoc. Prof. Roumen Karaganev (since 2019).
Roumen Karaganev, assoc. prof. DSc
Vanya Stoyanova, chief asst. prof. PhD
Slavi Slavov, chief asst. prof. PhD
Stanislava Stoytcheva, chief asst. prof. PhD
Georgi Georgiev, chief asst. prof. PhD
Volodya Milatchkov, chief asst. prof. PhD
Siya Nikiforova, asst. prof. PhD