I am Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, funded by the European Union. From 2019 to 2021 I was ESRC postdoctoral research fellow at the Oxford Department of International Development.
My general research interests are in democratic backsliding, memory, transitional justice, post-war reconstruction and the rule of law in post-war and transitional contexts. My main regional expertise is in the former Yugoslavia and Central Europe. I am fluent in several local languages and have spent long periods of time living and working in Prague, Belgrade and Sarajevo.
I have an extensive experience and knowledge of political sociology, comparative politics and the international development sector, both as an academic and practitioner, especially in East Central and Southeast Europe. I work across several disciplines (political sociology, politics, history and socio-legal studies), using qualitative and fieldwork methods.
My current research project called VICTIMEUR investigates how frames of victimhood have featured in the politics of post-socialist Europe in the past two decades, and whether and how such frames have influenced the current illiberal trends across the region. The project specifically studies different meanings, notions and constructions of victimhood and how they have featured in key moments of political contestation such as power transitions and crises. It introduces a new understanding of social and political victimhood that clearly manifests itself in contemporary postcommunist and postconflict Europe, linked to collective and individual grievances that vary from memories of historical injustice, East-West divisions, socialist political persecution, war suffering, and a recent sense of marginalization by capitalism.
My previous research dealt with victims’ redress in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, published as a monograph The Struggle for Redress: Victim Capital in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2020). I have authored several studies on identity politics (including Post-War Ethno-National Identities of Young People in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2012) and retributive transitional justice in several academic journals (most recent for the Journal of Peacebuilding & Development).
I previously worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Sarajevo and Belgrade. I have also worked as an advisor for several UK-based consultancies and charities on issues such as gender-based violence, the rule of law and free media. I am a member of the UK’s Stabilization Unit. I have collaborated with a range of research institutions, including the Czech Academy of Sciences, University of Graz, the London School of Economics (LSEE-E), Columbia University in New York, and Goldsmiths College in London where I taught a course on memory and justice in post-conflict societies. I was also a Chatham House Associate Fellow at the Europe Programme from 2020 to 2021.
In 2019-2021, I was also a committee member of OxPeace (Oxford Peace), seminar convenor at the South East European Studies Oxford (SEESOX) and a Visiting Research Fellow of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict (CRIC) at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
I hold a DPhil in Politics (2018) and MPhil in Russian and East European Studies (2011), both from from the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College), an MRes in Government from the London School of Economics, and an undergraduate degree in International Area Studies from the Charles University in Prague.