Dr. Marika Djolai

+49 (0)4 61 14 14 9-61

Dr. Marika Djolai is Head of Conflict and Security Cluster. She holds Masters degrees from University of Novi Sad and University College London, UK and received her Doctorate in Development Studies (Conflict and Violence) in 2016 from Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. 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 social identities in ethnically diverse societies, while her policy work is oriented towards the EU accession agenda of the Western Balkans countries and bilateral disputes resolution.

Within the field of minority studies, Dr. Djolai is particularly interested in challenging the mainstream interpretations of conflicts in countries dominated by national minorities issues and ethnic complexities; searching for new paradigms in defining conflict drivers and security challenges in complex environments; participatory approaches to managing group relations, group boundaries and collective as well as individual identities; links between development, security challenges and minorities, including group behaviour against this backdrop.  

As a development anthropologist and sociologist, Marika primarily relies on qualitative research methodology, in combination with participatory mapping and household surveys. Her analytical approach combines micro and meso-level research with narrative analysis and grounded theory.  

Before joining the ECMI, Dr. Djolai has 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 in 2012 and won a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Studies of Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka in 2016.

Since 2015 she has been a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG). Most recently, Marika worked as a consultant for GIZ and UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while her past engagements include UNICEF, the British Council, SDC and BBC Media Action among others. Her geographic expertise covers the Balkans and Eurasia. 

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