Tihomir Bezlov

Senior Fellow, Security Program
Center for the Study of Democracy E-mail Tihomir Bezlov at: tiho(at)online(dot)bg ll Hi-res Photo


Master's degree from Sofia University in Philosophy and German Philology and Postmaster's study at Sofia University and Leipzig University.


Mr. Bezlov is a leading expert in crime research. For the past 17 years as a Senior Analyst at CSD he has authored numerous reports and sociological research. Mr. Bezlov has pioneered the carrying out of the crime victims survey in Bulgaria and has contributed to its implementation in a number of national and international institutions as well as the state administration. His research and analysis of various crime and corruption-related issues (e.g. the development of a national-level index of corruption, the demand and supply of illegal drugs, the prostitution markets, human trafficking, smuggling of commercial goods) has won him both national and international recognition, and has resulted not only in numerous publications but has led to some of his research being used in court proceedings.

He is also recognized as а leading political analyst and as such is a frequent commentator and quoted in all major national and international media.

Mr. Bezlov is also a recognized political risk analyst. In this capacity, for the past 10 years he has been at the core of teams providing comprehensive and regular country risk analysis for the United Nations Development Program, Eurasia Group / Lehman Brothers, Eurasia Group/Deutsche Bank, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Control Risks Group.

Mr. Bezlov has participated in the analysis of various crime prevention and policing initiatives. He is a lecturer under the Sofia University Master's Program in Globalization and a frequent guest lecturer at the Academy of the Ministry of Interior and the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Research focus

Conventional and organized crime, corruption within state administration, excisable goods, trafficking in human beings.

Selected publications

Editor of the book – Democracy and Reform Guide, 1996

Bulgarian 1997 Think-Tank Survey, Urban Institute, 1997

Non-Government Organizations in Bulgaria, USAID, 1997

Anti-corruption Action Plan and Corruption Monitoring in Bulgaria, Coalition 2000, Bulgaria, 1998

Citizen Participation Projects Study, the Democratic Network Program (DNP), 1998

Institutional Infrastructure of the NGO Sector: Organizations with Socio-Economic Orientation, the Democratic Network Program (DNP), 1999

Regional Development and Local Government Reform: Condition, Factors, Trends and Roles of “The Tertiary Sector”, Local Government Initiative, 1999

Feasibility Study on the Establishment of Technological Chitalishte (UNDP Project), 2000

“Corruption and Trafficking: Monitoring and Prevention”, 2000,

“Corruption, Trafficking and Institutional Reform”, 2002

“The Drug market in Bulgaria”, 2003

“Injecting Drug Users In Bulgaria”, 2004

“Transportation, Smuggling and Organized Crime”, 2004

“Heroin Users in Bulgaria One Year After Outlawing The Dose for "Personal Use", 2005,

“Drug market and drug trafficking in Bulgaria” in “The Organised Crime Economy: Managing Crime Markets in Europe”, Nijmegen, 2005

“Crime Trends in Bulgaria 2000 – 2005”, 2006

“Drugs and organised crime in Bulgaria”, THE ORGANISED CRIME ECONOMY, Managing crime markets in Europe.Petrus C. van Duyne, Klaus von Lampe, Maarten van Dijck and James L.

Newell (Eds.). Wolf Legal Publishers (WLP), 2005,

“Police Stops and Ethnic Profiling in Bulgaria”, 2006

The Roma in Bulgaria Criminal Justice System: from ethnic profiling to imprisonment, Critical Criminology (2006)

Organized Crime in Bulgaria: Markets and Trends (2007)

Organized Crime: Culture, Markets and Policies (Studies of Organized Crime) (2007) by Dina Siegel

(Editor), Hans Nelen (Editor)

Corruption Trends and Anti-Corruption in Bulgaria 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Analysis and essays on political, social and economic issues in Sociological Problems quarterly and Kultura, Democratsia, Standart, ‘Kapital’ and ‘24 chasa’ newspapers

“Examining the links between organised crime and corruption”, Brussels: European Commission, 2010, Gounev, P

“Cooperation between Customs Administrations and Border Guards Working at the External Borders of the EU”, Brussels: European Commission, 2010, Gounev, P.


English, German, Russian