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Conference: on Rural Sociology and Cooperatives, Sofia, 5 June 2012‏

Dear colleagues, the regular annual Conference on the problems of the
village will take place on 5 June 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In connection
with the UN sponsored International year of the cooperatives we adopted
the following topic: “Cooperatives in the Bulgarian Village-- virtuous
past and gloomy present day”.
We would like at the outset to say that we do not mean only agricultural
cooperatives – we include , though and they come in the phere all types of
cooperatives and cooperation in Bulgarian village. It is known that the
first cooperative in Bulgaria was established in the village of Mirkovo,
Pirdop region. Within more than 120 years the cooperation in the Bulgarian
rural area have had their times of highs and lows and periods of decline.

Now we just ask ourselves are such institutions in the Bulgarian village
still to be found. It is well known that cooperatives are in progress and
interest to them is highest during the economic crisis. In the conditions
of crisis in Bulgaria now there is no longer visible activity of the
cooperative movement. Or perhaps there are not enough good observations,
which make this process visible? Or, it may be safer to think rather that
changes the nature of the cooperatives has occurred? What happens with
cooperatives and their property, are there any kinds of cooperatives in
the villages as the Central Cooperatives’ Union continues to exist, and
what is their contribution to the economy and society – these are part of
the issues on which it is worth to think about and discuss....
The reports may have retrospective bias and to consider the past
experience, specific cases and even on the celebrities of the cooperative
movement. There might be place for reflection as well as on such aspect of
the topic:-rural mutual assistance of patriarchal times until today, the
forms of simple cooperative, which has been claimed that have been
existing until recently. And, possibly, some new forms of social economy
has replaced during the current situations of crisis older proven
cooperatives, that have appeared in Western Europe in the first half of
the 19th century.

We hope that this year, once again, we will conduct fruitful discussions.

We expect your applications for participation until 23 April 2012 in the
Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (IIOZ), Section “Social
Communities and Identities” and the e-mail address: (Ass.
Prof. Dr. Galina Koleva).
The Conference will be held on Tuesday, 5 June 2012 in the Conference Hall
of the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian
Academy of Sciences, 13a,. Moscovska St.
>From the organizers: Section “Social Communities and Identities”, IIOZ,
Research Committee Sociology of the Village and Rural Sociology at the
BSA, Section of Sociological Sciences — the Union of Bulgarian Scientists

tephan E. Nikolov, PhD
Senior Research Fellow,
Institute of Sociology, Sofia
Tel. (+ 359 2) 971 4655,
mobile (+ 359 88) 725 11 65