Dr. Marika Djolai

+49 4 61 14 14 9 61

Marika is Head of ECMI Conflict and Security Cluster, which she joined in late 2019. She holds MSc in Biology from University of Novi Sad; MSc in Anthropology and Development from University College London and received her Doctorate in Development Studies (Conflict and Violence) in 2016 from Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. 

Before joining the ECMI, Marika held a position of Eurasia Programme Manager at International Alert and worked as a Researcher and Teaching Associate at the Institute of Development Studies. She was also a Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo and won a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Studies of Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka in 2016. With Professor Justino, Marika has been awarded Leverhulme Research Grant for three years for her research on BiH. 

Her research focuses on community dynamics, violence and post-war social interactions and group dynamics in diverse societies. Within the field of minority studies, Marika is particularly interested in challenging the mainstream interpretations of conflicts in multicultural, pluralistic societies and searching for new paradigms of securitisation and insecurities faced by minorities. She is interested in exploring group boundaries and collective identities, including group behaviour against this backdrop.  Her analytical approach combines micro and meso-level research, and grounded theory.   She is editor of ECMI Minorities Blog and frequent commentator on the Western Balkans and academic member of BiEPAG.

Selected publications

Djolai, M. (forthcoming). Introduction 'Minorities, European Security and Securitisation of Group Relations: Approaching Security from a Minor Perspective', JEMIE Vol. 01/21

Djolai, M. (forthcoming). 'Interfaith dialogue in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina: Community and Spaces of Interactions' in Haddad, L. at al., Materialities, sites and practices of Interfaith Dialogue in Europe, Routledge

Co-author with BiEPAG Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group, (April 2020). The Western Balkans in Times of the Global Pandemic, Policy brief

Djolai, M., (2019) 'Transcommunality, Translocality and Identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Understanding New Cleavages', special issue New Solidarities: Migration, Mobility, Diaspora, and Ethnic Tolerance in Southeast Europe" Vol. 20(2)

Djolai, M. (2019). 'Dealing with security challenges in the Balkans: Small states and failed democracies?', conference paper 

Djolai, M., (2019). 'Why Experience and Legacies of Civil War Inevitably Lead to Illiberal Democracy?', conference paper;

Djolai, M. (2019). 'Resolving Bilateral Disputes and Building Stability in the Western Balkans' in Western Balkans Back in Focus: How to Shape Europe’s Reengagement with a Region in Crisis, Evangelical Academy Loccum, conference volume

Co-author with Necev, Z., (2018). 'Bilateral Disputes Conundrum:  Accepting the Past and Finding Solutions for the Western Balkans', BiEPAG Policy Brief 

Co-author with Stratulat, C. (2017). 'Clientelism' in M. Kmezic, & F. Bieber, The Crisis of Democracy in the Western Balkans. An Anatomy of Stabilitocracy and the Limits of EU Democracy Promotion

Djolai, M. (2016). 'When the Rooftops Became Red Again. Post-war Community Dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina', PhD Thesis 

Selected conferences/workshops/guest lectures

9 November 2020: 
EU scheme for young professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, College of Europe
Workshop / Self-paced learning: The EU and the accession of BiH A special focus on the country’s path to accession

7-9 September 2020 
The Western Balkans in the European Union – Growing Together or Moving Apart? Challenges, Opportunities, And Perspectives”. Loccum Academy
Conference address (by invitation) / Contributor to “Togetherness” session

30 June 2020 (online)
EURAC Webinar on Minorities and COVID-19
Webinar address (by invitation) / Security in times of a pandemic: borders, states and minorities 

28-29 September 2019
Conference "Conflict. Stability. Democracy."
Presentation / Why Experience and Legacies of Civil War Inevitably Lead to Illiberal Democracy?

16-18 October 2019
Belgrade Security Forum. Belgrade, Serbia.
Presentation / Dealing with security challenges in the Balkans: One-man band or regional Approach?

29 March 2019
Panel participant / The Western Balkans Beyond Resolution of Bilateral Issues. Skopje, North Macedonia.

19 March 2019 
Visiting Speaker Programme, London School of Economics
Post-war community dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina

17-19 October 2018
Belgrade Security Forum (BSF)
Panel participant / What is a Way Forward for Bosnia?

4-6 July 2018
ASN European Conference: Nationalism in Times of Uncertainty. University of Graz, Austria
Presentation / The Civil War and Crisis of Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina – What Lies Beneath?

3-15 June 2018
ISA. Bath, UK
Panel co-organised with Natalie Martin, Nottingham Trent University  / The Nature of Illiberal Governance in the Balkans and Eurasia

14-16 June 2017
British International Studies Association (BISA) 2017. Brighton
Presentation / The Changing Internal and External Security Environment in the Western Balkans

Other research and work experience
  • Academic Member and Policy Analyst for Balkans In Europe Policy Advisory Group (BIEPAG)
  • Conflict, Peace and Human Rights Expert for GIZ, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2019)
  • International Evaluation Consultant for UN Women, ‘Ending Violence Against Women in the Western Balkans and Turkey: Implementing Norms, Changing Minds’ (2019)
  • UNDP Team Leader of final evaluation of Strengthening the Role of Local Communities/ Mjesne zajednice in Bosnia and Herzegovina/Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance Sector (2018)
  • Expert Advisor on civil society and bilateral disputes resolution to Foreign Comonwealh Office, UK, for the Western Balkans Summit in London (2018)
  • Head of Eurasia Programme at International Alert: programme management Ukraine, Caucasus, Central Asia (2017)
  • Social inclusion Advisor to Swiss Development Cooperation Country Strategy for Kosovo 2017-2020 (2016)
  • Research Mentor (Making All Voices Count) at Institute of Development Studies / Supported NGOs in South Africa (ODAC) and Nigeria (BudgIT) to implement research projects (2016)
  • Associate Tutor at Institute of Development Studies (IDS), MA module: Sociology, Anthropology and the Development Conundrum (MA Development, MA Participation) (2016)
  • IDS Research Strategy Committee Member of Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (2012-2015)
  • MA Thesis Advisor (Institute for Peace research and Security Policy) and PhD Thesis Advisor (Europa-Universitat Flensburg)

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