We are very delighted to announce that a new article: Kachakova, V. & Koleva, S. (2022). Social Justice at Stake: Education of African Students in Bulgaria 1960–1990, Sociological Problems 54(1), 49-70, which was prepared within the JustEdu project, has been just published: CEEOL – Article Detail


With the process of decolonization on the African continent, which began in the mid-1950s, the “battle for the minds and hearts” of formerly colonial African peoples was fought primarily through education policy. Based on the educational policy and institutional practices of the Bulgarian Socialist state towards African students studying in the country, this article problematizes the shifting boundaries and ambiguous dimensions of social justice in and through education. Combined, the analytical capacities of Sen’s capability approach and the political economy of education draw attention to the historical circumstances, macrosocial conditions, interests and strategies of various political and institutional actors, and individual intentions and goals. The policies and dynamics regarding the number of African students being educated, the compromises made in the selection of candidates and in the assessment of their learning outcomes, and the application of both restrictive (e.g., in terms of choice of specialty) and permissive (relative freedom to travel abroad) measures, were, all, results of the actions of institutional actors, for whom education was an instrument for attaining state, diplomatic, economic, and political goals, in the pursuit of which the proclaimed principles of social justice could be used as a bargaining chip.