The Balkan Studies Research Group

A comprehensive research effort concerning the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe is being undertaken at the Hugo Valentin Centre since the 1990s within the framework of the Balkan Studies Research Group . Research spans a broad field and over the years included disciplines such as history, anthropology, peace and conflict research, sociology, literature, and sociolinguistics. The emphasis is on issues related to nation-building, nationalism, identity, conflict, ethnic violence and its consequences, and various aspects of social and collective memory. 

At present, research is concentrated on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Romania, but also Macedonia and Kosovo. Apart from conducting research, the members of the research group are involved in teaching on the Master Programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and other courses in the fields of ethnic relations and peace and conflict. 

The specific aims of the Balkan Studies Research Group is to

  • develop cooperation and a creative research environment for scholars at The Hugo Valentin Centre researching the Balkans 
  • stimulate collaboration with researchers in the humanities and social sciences at Uppsala University that focus on the Balkans
  • further the study of the Balkans and South East Europe at Swedish universities.
  • stimulate cooperation with international specialists on the Balkans, inter alia through the invitation of guest researchers
  • develop and conduct interdisciplinary research projects based on the subject expertise mentioned above through external funding

A major task of the BSRG is to carry out a long-term research agenda focusing on the violent conflicts in the twentieth century, their background, character and consequences. Connected to this, several members of the group are currently working on the project Microfoundations of Violence: Western Balkans, which contains a large database used for the investigation of the dynamics of mass violence and its effects on societies in the region throughout the twentieth century. Specific projects deal with

  • spatial analyses of local-level mass violence during the Second World War and the war of the 1990s through in-depth studies of the organisation of violence in local communities;
  • post-conflict transitional justice;
  • knowledge-production in times of conflict;
  • social and collective memory about past atrocities​
  • Aryanizatino of Jewish property during the Second World War

Research projects

The research group has attracted a large amount of external funds since its inception, totalling an estimated 25 million SEK. The projects include a wide array of topics that span both the humanities and social sciences.

Current projects

  • Segmented narratives, conflicting histories: social memory about the Second World War in the Western Balkans, 1989–2018​​
  • Top-down and bottom-up reconciliation and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moçambique and Sierra Leone (RJ)
  • The Unwanted Citizens: Aryanization of Jewish Property in Romania and the Independent State of Croatia
  • Yugoslav prisoners in Norway, 1942–45 (VR)

Completed projects

  • National and religious mobilization ni former Yugoslavia (RJ)
  • Language standardization in Bosnia and Herzegovina (RJ)
  • Trauma and secondary traumatization among aid workers (RJ)
  • Serbian youth and the war of the 1990s (VR)
  • Local mass violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s (RJ)
  • State- and nation-building in Montenegro (SIDA)
  • The microfundations of mass violence: Western Balkans (faculty financed "research node")
  • Postdoctoral project o transitional justice i Bosnia and Herzegovina (VR)

Membership and current activities


Goran Miljan, PhD in history (coordinator)
Anders Blomqvist, PhD in history
Tomislav Dulić, associate professor in history
Roland Kostić, associate professor in peace and conflict research
Peter Bachlechner, assistant
Marius Bellando, assistant

Affiliated researchers

Kjell Magnusson, associate professor in sociology (em.)
Jelena Spasenić, PhD in cultural anthropology



  • ​May: guest researcher visit by professor Siniša Malešević, University College Dublin
  • May 26–29: visit by Dr. Jovan Byford from the Open University London
  • September 25–27: organisation of the second convention of the International Association for Comparative Fascist Studies


  • March 24-26: organisation of the conference "Jasenovac Past and Present: History and Memory of Institutionalised Destruction" in Zagreb, Jasenovac and Belgrade
  • September: guest researcher visit by professor Ivo Goldstein, Zagreb University