Mladenov, Teodor


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Personal profile


I am Senior Lecturer at the School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee. Previously, I was Marie Curie Individual Fellow at the European Network on Independent Living (2017-2019), and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy Research, King’s College London (2013-2016). I am author of Critical Theory and Disability: A Phenomenological Approach (2015, Bloomsbury), and Disability and Postsocialism (2018, Routledge). In the period 2000-2009, I was actively involved in campaigning for disability rights in Bulgaria.

Research interests

I have research interests and expertise in:

  • disability studies
  • disability policy (including the right to independent living, personalisation, self-directed support, personal assistance, direct payments, deinstitutionalisation, activation, disability assessment, disability benefits)
  • social movements (with a focus on the disability rights movement and disability activism)
  • critical theory (broadly conceived, i.e., not only the original Frankfurt School and Habermas, but also Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Zizek)
  • social justice (specifically, the approaches of Fraser and Honneth)
  • co-production, political participation
  • civil society, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • state socialism and postsocialism in Central and Eastern Europe (with a focus on state socialist and postsocialist social policy and civil society)
  • neoliberalism (welfare state retrenchment, marketisation, responsibilisation, governmentality, managerialism, NGO-isation)
  • international and comparative social policy (Europeanisation, welfare state regimes, European civil society)
  • human rights (with a focus on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
  • actor-network theory

I am happy to supervise doctoral research in any of these areas.


I have led the development and implementation of the following research projects:

User-led Personal Assistance in the European Union: A Critical Comparative Analysis (2017-2019) - a two-year research project funded by the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (GA 747027).

Moral Identities and Contemporary Social Policy: The Case of Disability (2013-2016) - a three-year research project co-funded by the Leverhulme Trust and King’s College London (ECF-2013-246).

Disability Rights Workshop (2008) - a 12-month action research project funded by the CEE Trust and implemented in partnership between the Center for Independent Living – Sofia and the Department of Sociology, Sofia University.


Policy Development – module lead

Policy Development is a 2nd year MSc module focusing on co-production of social policy and the role of service users and social work professionals in this process. The module is part of the MSc in Social Work programme at the School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Higher Education Academy

7 Feb 2022 → …

Award Date: 7 Feb 2022

Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology of Disability, King's College London

1 Oct 200930 Sept 2012

Award Date: 1 Feb 2013

Master of Arts, Social and Political Thought , University of Sussex

1 Oct 200530 Sept 2006

Award Date: 30 Jan 2007

Master of Arts, Psychology, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski

1 Oct 199530 Jul 2000

Award Date: 5 May 2001

External positions

Editorial Board Member

Jan 2023 → …

Member of the Policy and Research Sub-Committee

2021 → …

Coordinator of the Independent Living Research Network

1 Sept 2017 → …

Editorial Board Member

2016 → …


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • disability studies
  • disability policy
  • social policy
  • social theory
  • critical theory
  • state socialism
  • postsocialism
  • neoliberalism
  • human rights


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