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Ruslan Stefanov

Program Director
Chief Economist


Master's degree in Economics and Business Administration, University of National and World Economy, Sofia


Ruslan joined CSD in 2002. He has 20 years of experience in managing and delivering high quality projects in civil society, research and consulting on anticorruption, informal economy, energy, and innovation in Europe.

Ruslan is co-director and co-author of the Kremlin Playbook a joint project of the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Russia’s economic footprint and influence in Europe. He is the knowledge and development coordinator of the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (, the largest regional civil society anticorruption network in the Western Balkans, Turkey, and the Eastern Neighborhood. Ruslan is an advisor on increasing knowledge for the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work. He is the editor of, the foremost monitoring and assessment tool of research and innovation policy in Bulgaria and is an expert on smart specialization for the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Ruslan is a member of the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network and the Development Institute of the Center for International Private Enterprise, Washington, D.C., of the Advisory Board of the Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy at the University of Sheffield Management School, and of the International Association for Energy Economics.

Research Focus

Anti-Corruption, Informal Economy, Energy Governance and Energy Security, Innovation and Smart Specialization, European Integration, Southeast Europe, Russia

Selected publications 

The Russian Economic Grip on Central and Eastern Europe, Routledge, 2018, co-editor

Russian Economic Footprint in the Western Balkans. Corruption and State Capture Risks, CSD, 2018, co-editor

Russian Influence in the Media Sectors of the Black Sea Countries, CSD, 2018, co-editor 2018: Smart Policies for Innovation Growth, ARC Fund, 2018, co-editor

Development of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Sources in Bulgaria: Legislative and Administrative Challenges, CSD, 2018, co-editor

Evaluating Governance and Corruption Risks in Bulgaria, CSD, 2017, co-author 2017: Bulgaria in the Global Value Chains, ARC Fund, 2017, co-editor

The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2016, co-author

Shadow Power: Assessment of Corruption and Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe, SELDI, 2016, co-editor    
State Capture Unplugged: Countering Administrative and Political Corruption in Bulgaria, CSD, 2016, co-author

Countering Corruption in Southeast Europe 2001 – 2014, book chapter in Klientelismus in Südosteuropa, Peter Lang, 2016, author 2016: Innovation Powered by Talent, ARC Fund, 2016, co-editor
Public Integrity and Trust in the European Union, The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2015, co-author
Corruption and Organized Crime Threat Monitoring Report, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, 2015, contributor 
Bulgarian Public Procurement Market: Corruption Risks and Dynamics in the Construction Sector, Chapter in Government Favouritism in Europe (Ed. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi), Brbara Budrich Publishers, 2015, co-author
Corruption Assessment Report: Anticorruption Policies against State Capture, CSD, 2015, co-author
Monitoring the Hidden Economy in Macedonia: Trends and Policy Options, Center for the Study of Democracy & Center for Research and Policy Making, 2015, editor
Energy Sector Governance and Energy (In)Security in Bulgaria, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2014, co-author 


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