Prof Dejan Djokić

Staff details

Position Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, On research leave 2019-22
Department History
Email d.djokic (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7574
Prof Dejan Djokić

Professor Dejan Djokić's research spans across, and brings together, three main strands: the Yugoslav war; global and cultural history of the Cold War; &history of Southeastern Europe since the Middle Ages.

Dejan is a recipient of some of the most prestigious grants and fellowships. His main current project, a pioneering study of the last generation of Yugoslav army conscripts (1990/91), is funded by the British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust. In 2015/16 he was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow.

Prior to joining Goldsmiths in 2007, Dejan held lectureships at Birkbeck and Nottingham (a permanent post) and research fellowships at Columbia University, New York and Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC. He was a visiting professor at School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University (2010) and a research fellow in History & Civilisation Dept, EUI, Florence (2014). Since Oct 2020 he has been a guest professor in South-East European History, Humboldt University of Berlin.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in History, University College London 2004
  • BA (Hons) in History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1996

Teaching and Supervision

  • Dejan currently co-supervises 2 PhD students, with Prof Jo Fox (IHR) & Prof Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck).
  • When not on research leave, Dejan teaches a full portfolio of UG and PG modules.

Research interests

Prof Djokić's principal current project is a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded pioneering ‘collective autobiography’ of the last generation of the Yugoslav Army conscripts. ‘Tito’s Last Soldiers’ traces transition from peace to war in Yugoslavia in 1990/91 from an original angle, combining autoethnography, oral testimonies & micro history. Key outputs will include a monograph, Dejan’s fifth, and a theatre play, his first.

Dejan’s fourth monograph -a thematic exploration of Yugoslavia through socio-political concepts as categories of historical analysis- is written jointly with D Jović and will be published by Oxford University Press (New York).

Djokić is the author of A Concise History of Serbia (forthcoming with Cambridge, 2022), the most complete single-volume history of Serbia in any language. It's a 'national history' which interrogates national framework; and it explores Serbia's/Southeast Europe's past from the early Middle Ages to the present day through key developments (migration, empire, revolution, state/nation building, war), while giving voice to participants. The original research for the book was funded by an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, which Dejan held in 2015-16 at Humboldt University of Berlin.

His next book will build on a recent chapter ‘Reframing Nonalignment: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference’ (forthcoming in N Shimazu & M Phillips (eds), Reading Diplomatic Images). This study utilises diplomatic image as a historical source and the ‘diplomacy as theatre’ concept (Shimazu) to revisit the origins of Nonalignment, a movement of mainly African and Asian post-colonial states and Yugoslavia, and challenge the 'East-West' Cold War binary.

Djokić’s previous output includes two monographs, Elusive Compromise (Columbia UP/Hurst, 2007) and Pašić & Trumbić (Chicago UP/Haus, 2010) – now standard works on interwar Yugoslavia – and four edited volumes on Yugoslav and European history.

Publications and research outputs


Djokic, Dejan. 2023. A Concise History of Serbia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107028388

Djokic, Dejan. 2016. Неостварлив компромис: Историја за меѓувоената Југославија, translated by Jasmina Velkova. Skopje: ARS Studio. ISBN 9786082391434

Djokic, Dejan. 2010. Nedostižni kompromis: Srpsko-hrvatsko pitanje u međuratnoj Jugoslaviji, transl. by Slobodanka Glišić. Belgrade: Fabrika knjiga. ISBN 978-86-7718-094-2

Djokic, Dejan. 2010. Nikola Pašić and Ante Trumbić: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. London: Haus. ISBN 978-1-905791-78-1

Djokic, Dejan. 2007. Elusive Compromise: A History of Interwar Yugoslavia. New York and London: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-70019-1

Edited Book

Djokic, Dejan, ed. 2016. Југословенството: Истории за пропаднатата идеја 1918-1992, translated by Ana Chochkova. Skopje: ARS Studio. ISBN 9786082390925

Djokic, Dejan, ed. 2013. Nesentimentalni idealisti: Desimir Tošić, Božidar Vlajić i uvodnici časopisa Naša reč. Pariz-London, 1948-1990. Belgrade: Službeni glasnik / Otkrovenje. ISBN 978-86-519-1726-7 (hb)

Djokic, Dejan and Ker-Lindsay, James, eds. 2011. New Perspectives on Yugoslavia: Key Issues and Controversies. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-49920-0

Djokic, Dejan, ed. 2003. Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918-1992. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-18610-4

Edited Journal

Djokic, Dejan, ed. 2006. Beyond the Curtain: Britain, the Labour Party and the Left in Cold War Europe, European History Quarterly, 36(3). 0265-6914

Book Section

Djokic, Dejan. 2021. Reframing Nonalignment: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference. In: Naoko Shimazu and Matthew Phillips, eds. Cold War Asia: A Visual History of Global Diplomacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Djokic, Dejan. 2020. Afterword. In: , ed. Hitler's New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia (Paperback edition) by Stevan K. Pavlowitch. London: Hurst Publishers, pp. 283-289. ISBN 9781787384118

Djokic, Dejan. 2020. From Salonica to Belgrade: The Emergence of Yugoslavia, 1917–1921. In: John R. Lampe and Ulf Brunnbauer, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Balkan and Southeast European History. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 191-199. ISBN 9781138613089

Djokic, Dejan. 2017. Introduction. In: , ed. The House of Remembering and Foregtting by Filip David. London: Peter Owen Publishers & Istros Books, pp. 11-20. ISBN 9780720619737

Djokic, Dejan. 2014. Serbia, Sarajevo and the Start of Conflict. In: Alan Sharp, ed. 28 June: Sarajevo 1914 - Versailles 1919. The War and Peace That Made the Modern World. London: Haus Publishing/Chicago University Press, pp. 10-29. ISBN 9781908323750

Djokic, Dejan. 2013. The Past as Future: Post-Yugoslav Space in the Early Twenty-First Century. In: Radmila Gorup, ed. After Yugoslavia : The Cultural Spaces of a Vanished Land. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 55-74. ISBN 9780804784023

Djokic, Dejan. 2011. National Mobilisation in the 1930s: The Emergence of the "Serb Question" in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In: Dejan Djokic and J Ker-Lindsay, eds. New Perspectives on Yugoslavia: Key Issues and Controversies. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 62-81. ISBN 9780415499200 (hbk)

Dragovic-Soso, Jasna and Gordy, Eric. 2010. Coming to Terms with the Past: Transitional justice and Reconciliation in the post-Yugoslav lands. In: Dejan Djokic and J Ker-Lindsay, eds. New Perspectives on Yugoslavia: Key Issues and Controversies. Routledge, pp. 193-212. ISBN 978-0-415-49920-0

Djokic, Dejan. 2010. "Leader" or "Devil"? Milan Stojadinović, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1935-39), and his Ideology. In: , ed. In the Shadow of Hitler: Personalities of the Right in Central and Eastern Europe. London: IB Tauris, pp. 153-168. ISBN 9781845116972

Djokic, Dejan. 2010. Reconciliacion intraetnica y homogeneizacion nacional en la Serbia de Milosevic y la Croacia de Tudjman. In: , ed. Jose Angel Ruiz Jimenez (ed.), Balcanes, la herida abierta de Europa: Conflicto y reconstruccion de la convivencia. Madrid: Plaza Y Valdes Editores, pp. 105-127. ISBN 978-84-92751-55-6

Djokic, Dejan. 2009. Whose Myth? Which Nation? The Serbian Kosovo Myth Revisited. In: Janos M. Bak; Jörg Jarnut; Pierre Monnet and Bernd Schneidmueller, eds. Uses and Abuses of the Middle Ages: 19th-21st Century. 17 Munich: Wilhelm Fink, pp. 215-233. ISBN 978-3-7705-4701-2

Djokic, Dejan. 2006. ‘Yugoslavia’. In: John Merriman and Jay Winter, eds. Europe since 1914: The Age of War and Reconstruction. 5 Detroit: Charles Scribner, pp. 2790-2805. ISBN 0684313707

Dragovic-Soso, Jasna. 2003. Intellectuals and the Collapse of Yugoslavia: The End of the Yugoslav Writers' Union. In: Dejan Djokic, ed. Yugoslavism Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918–1992. London: Hurst & Co, pp. 268-285. ISBN 9781850656623

Djokic, Dejan. 2003. (Dis)integrating Yugoslavia: King Alexander and Interwar Yugoslavism. In: Dejan Djokic, ed. Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918-1992. University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 136-156. ISBN 0299186105


Djokic, Dejan. 2022. Am ende des Sozialismus. (Persönliche) Überlegungen nach 30 Jahren am Beispiel Jugoslawiens. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte / Politics and Contemporary History, 72(1-2), pp. 28-32. ISSN 0479-611X

Djokic, Dejan. 2019. Vek Jugoslavije: Kako i zašto su Srbi, Hrvati i Slovenci stvorili zajedničku državu. Tragovi: Časopis za srpske i hrvatske teme, 2(1), pp. 25-51. ISSN 2623-8926

Djokic, Dejan. 2019. A very Yugoslav paradox? The strange afterlife of interwar democracy (and authoritarianism). Journal of Modern European History, 17(1), pp. 28-36. ISSN 1611-8944

Djokic, Dejan. 2017. Hubert Butler and Yugoslavia. Croatian Political Science Review, 54(4), pp. 207-216. ISSN 0032-3241

Djokic, Dejan. 2015. Bosnian Daydreamers. History Workshop Journal, 80(1), pp. 301-310. ISSN 1363-3554

Djokic, Dejan. 2012. Nationalism, Myth and Reinterpretation of History: The Neglected Case of Interwar Yugoslavia. European History Quarterly, 42(1), pp. 71-95. ISSN 0265-6914

Djokic, Dejan. 2007. Sukob sa Istorijom: Neka razmišljanja o prošlosti i odnosu prema njoj u postsocijalističkoj Srbiji. Reč, 75(21), pp. 42-59. ISSN 0354-5288

Djokic, Dejan. 2006. Britain and Dissent in Tito's Yugoslavia: The Djilas Affair, ca. 1956. European History Quarterly, 36(3), pp. 371-395. ISSN 02656914

Djokic, Dejan. 2006. Introduction. European History Quarterly, 36(3), pp. 347-349. ISSN 0265-6914

Djokic, Dejan. 2003. Unutaretničko pomirenje i nacionalna homogenizacija: Diskursi o pomirenju u Srbiji i Hrvatskoj krajem 80-ih i početkom 90-ih. Rec, 70(16), pp. 109-126. ISSN 0354-5288

Djokic, Dejan. 2002. The Second World War II: discourses of reconciliation in Serbia and Croatia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, 4(2), pp. 127-140. ISSN 14613190

Djokic, Dejan. 2001. Yugoslav Anti-Axis Resistance, 1939-1941: The Case of Vane Ivanovic. Slavonic and East European Review, 79(1), pp. 127-141. ISSN 0037-6795

Further profile content

Professional projects

Dejan regularly provides expertise to media on historical and current affairs and engages with non-academic audiences. He has contributed to the BBC, the Guardian, Independent, New Statesman, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, THE, TLS, &spoken at public events, incl:
-an article in APuZ, supplement of Das Parlament, the German parliament publication (68,000 circulation), Jan 2022
-BBC HistoryExtra, a BBC History Magazine podcast (90,000 circulation, 100,000 downloads per episode), 18/12/21
-Leipzig Book Fair, 30th anniversary of the break-up of the USSR and Yugoslavia panel, LiteraturHaus Leipzig/German Federal Civic Education Forum, 28/5/2021, co-panelists Prof S Pklokhy (Harvard), Prof G Sasse (Berlin/Oxford)
-Expert advisor/historical consultant, Museum of Yugoslavia (Belgrade), exhibition to mark the centenary of the creation of Yugoslavia, 2017-18
-'Albanian-Serb relations in historical perspective', Press Centre Belgrade/Open Society/ForumZFD 11/3/2016
See also Media engagements.

In 2016/17 Dejan initiated and facilitated the donation of c.600 books, including some rare items, on the Balkans from Professor Stevan K. Pavlowitch's private library to the Goldsmiths Library special collections.

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Media engagements

2022: Radio Študent (Ljubljana): Historical background and contemporary implications of the Russia-Ukraine war
An extended interview with a popular Slovenian youth/student radio station on the historical background of the war in Ukraine and its implications for wider Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

2022: The Telegraph: Professor Stevan Pavlowitch, leading historian of the Balkans who eschewed partisan narratives – obituary
Dejan Djokić's obituary to Stevan K. Pavlowitch, emeritus professor of Balkan history at Southampton University and a world-leading authority on South-Eastern Europe.

2021: BBC History Extra podcast: 'Yugoslavia: the beginning of the end'
In conversation with Rob Attar, Dejan Djokic explores, as a historian and a participant, the 1991 war that saw Slovenia secure independence and helped set in motion the bloody collapse of Yugoslavia.

2022: BBC News (Serbian): 'Srbija i Velika Britanija: Ko je bio istoričar Stevan K. Pavlović - kosmopolita i džentlmen srpskog porekla'
Obituary to historian Stevan K. Pavlowitch

2019: BBC Radio 4, ‘The History of the Treaty of Versailles – in Five Future Wars: Yugoslavia’
I feature as one of two historians (alongside Margaret MacMillan) in this programme produced by Bridget Kendall

2020: BBC News (Serbian) 'Milovan Djilas: "Crnogorac, Srbin i Jugosloven koji po značaju prevazilazi jugoslovenske okvire"'
Feature article about Milovan Djilas, Yugoslav communist revolutionary, writer and dissident. Re-published in major daily papers/portals in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia.

2016: Arte TV (France, Germany), 'Yugoslavia, the other side of the looking glass', 2-part documentary
I feature as one of several leading experts on Yugoslav history and politics in this Arte TV production which has been repeatedly broadcast on French and German TV

2015: BBC Radio 3, 'Music in the Great War: Gavrilo Princip's Footprint'
Discussion with Maria Margaronis about the ideology of the Young Bosnians and the legacy of the 1914 Sarajevo assassination

2015: 'Serbischer Sonderweg in der Flüchtlingskrise', Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Op-ed on the 'Migrant crisis' and the Balkan route published in the Swiss newspaper of record, in Jan Plamper's German translation

2015: Serbian State TV Channel 2 (RTS 2), 'Titova soba tajni: Milovan Djilas'
I feature as one of several historians/experts in this three-part documentary on Milovan Djilas, Yugoslav communist revolutionary, writer and dissident

2014: 'Among Serbian historians, the view that Germany is to blame for the war seems to be dominant'
BBC History Magazine, August 2014

2013: BBC Radio 4, Last Word
Interview, the death of Jovanka Broz, President Tito's widow, first broadcast 25 Oct 2013

Conferences and talks

2021: 'Tito's Last Soldiers: Towards a Collective (Auto-)Biography of the 1991 War in Slovenia'
Paper at the South-East Europe colloquium, Humboldt University of Berlin

2021: 'South-East Asian/European Encounters through the Lens: An Image of the 1961 Belgrade Conference of Non-aligned Countries'
Paper at Memorial Symposium for Prof. Nobuhiro Shiba, Tokyo Josai International University

2021: 'Ten Days That Shook the World and Ended Yugoslavia: Revisiting the 1991 Slovenian War Through Soldiers’ Memories’
Oberseminar/Historisches Seminar, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

2021: 'Reading Images of Non-Aligned Diplomacy: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference Reframed'
Paper at 'Diplomacy between Crisis and Cooperation: Fourth Conference of the New Diplomatic History Network', Aarhus University, Denmark

2020: 'Interwar Politics and the Destruction of Yugoslavia'
Paper prepared for 'Jasenovac Past and Present: History and Memory of Institutional Destruction' conference, Uppsala University, Sweden. Event postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

2019: ‘From Corfu to Paris, via Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana: How Yugoslavia emerged, 1917-21’
Invited lecture, University of Kobe (Japan)

2019: ‘"This three-named people of ours, one and united": Revisiting the Yugoslav kingdom a hundred years later'
Invited lecture, Tokyo Josai International University

2018: ‘Yugoslavia, a century later: Why did Serbs, Croats and Slovenes form a union in 1918?’
Public endowed lecture, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York

2018: ‘Vek Jugoslavije: Kako i zašto su se ujedinili Južni Sloveni?'
Keynote lecture presented at a conference to mark the centenary of the creation of Yugoslavia, Arhiv Srba u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb, Croatia

2018: ‘Authoritarianism in interwar Yugoslavia and modern Serbia: how similar are they?’
Paper presented at a conference on authoritarianism in 20C Europe, Center Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts & Imre Kertész Kolleg, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena

2018: ‘Brotherhood post-unity? Tito’s last soldiers and the dissolution of Yugoslavia’
Paper at the 'Global Yugoslavia' conference, co-sponsored by Past & Present journal and Goldsmiths

2018: ‘Driving around the Blocs: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference’
Paper at ‘Reading Diplomatic Images’ workshop 2, Yale-National University of Singapore, Singapore

2017: 'Which way to the past? On problematics of constructing a history of Serbia'
Public lecture, Humboldt University of Berlin

2017: 'Imag(in)ing Yugoslav-South-East Asian diplomatic relations'
Paper at ‘Reading Diplomatic Images’ workshop 1, Yale-National University of Singapore, Singapore

2017: ‘Revisiting Europe’s Debatable Lands: Hubert Butler and Yugoslavia’
Talk at 'Hubert Butler and the Balkans’, convener and co-panellist with Roy Foster (Oxford) and Vesna Goldsworthy (Exeter/UEA)

2016: 'Could 1916 be seen as a turning point in the emergence of the Yugoslav state?'
Paper at 'Reforms in a time of War: On the centenary of 1916' conference, European University, St Petersburg

2015: 'Mitrinović, Young Bosnia and Yugoslav Agitation in the Era of the Great War'
Keynote lecture at 'The Eleventh Hour: Dimitrije Mitrinović and his Network' conference, University of Bradford

2015: 'On continuities between two Yugoslavias'
Talk at 'What does the name Yugoslavia mean today? Anti-Fascism, Self-Management and Non-Alignment' conference, Birkbeck, University of London

2015: 'Writing history of Serbia: Challenges and opportunities'
Paper at the South-East Europe colloquium, Humboldt University of Berlin

2014: 'Writing a history of Serbia today'
Paper at Modern European History seminar, Oxford University

2014: 'How Serbia went to war in 1914'
Paper at 'The Long Global Crisis c. 1912 -1922' conference, European University Institute, Florence

2014: 'Nations and parliaments in the Yugoslav lands, 1848-1948'
Paper at 'Parliaments and Minorities: Ethnicities, Nations and Religions in Europe, 1848-1948' conference, The British Academy

2014: 'How to Write a History of Serbia Today. Methodological and other (post-Yugoslav) Challenges'
Talk at Department of History and Civilization colloquium, European University Institute, Florence

2011: 'The Long Road through Balkan History'
Talk following the screening of a documentary film of the same title, London School of Economics

2011: 'Serbia: The History behind the Name'
Talk at a public discussion about Stevan K. Pavlowitch's book of the same title, Embassy of Serbia, London

2011: ‘Djilas as a Historian and as a Source’
Talk at ‘Conversations about Djilas’ half-day conference; other speakers: Prof S Bose (LSE), Dr J Dragović-Soso (Goldsmiths), Prof V Goldsworthy (Kingston), Prof SK Pavlowitch (Southampton)

2011: 'Milovan Djilas and the British Left'
Talk at a public event to mark the centenary of Djilas' birth, Dom omladine, Belgrade

2011: ‘Mapping the Nation in New Europe: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919-1920’
Talk to mark the publication of my second monograph. Discussant Prof Alan Sharp (Ulster)

2010: ‘Were the Seeds of Future Discord Sown in Paris?’, public talk, Reform Club, London
Public talk about the legacy of the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920), Reform Club, London

2010: 'Citizens under surveillance: Hungary and Eastern Europe in the era of state socialism'
Talk and Q&A with audience following the screening of 'Spy in a One Horse Town' (dir. Gabor Zsigmond Papp, Hungary, 2009), London International Documentary Festival, Cine Lumiere, London

Grants and awards

2020: Leverhulme Research Fellowship

2019: British Academy Mid-Career Research Fellowship

2015: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (held at Humboldt University of Berlin)

2014: Visiting Research Fellowship, Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence

2010: Visiting Associate Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York

2008: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

2007: Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

2007: AHRC-funded research leave (under matching leave scheme)

2004: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York

1998: Scouladi Doctoral Research Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

2020: Visiting Research Professorship, Humboldt University of Berlin

Service to university, discipline and society

History Director of Research/Postgraduate&Research Committee Chair 2008-14; 2016-19
Deputy Head of Department 2008/09
Department Management Team 2008-12; 2016-19
History UCU rep 2018-19
Goldsmiths Research&Enterprise Committee 2011-14
Goldsmiths Impact Strategy Working Group 2011-14; 2016-18
Goldsmiths Directors of Research Network 2008-14; 2016-19
Goldsmiths Academic Development Committee 2010-13
International Advisory Board member, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts 2011–16
Council member, Institute of Historical Research 2009-13
Rethinking Modern Europe seminar, IHR, founding co-convener 2009-
PhD theses examiner: Birkbeck 2021, 2014; EUI, Florence 2016; UEA 2013; Ghent University, Belgium 2012; Nottingham 2007
External examiner, BA History, Birkbeck 2012-15
BA/MA programmes review, School of History, Classics&Archaeology, Birkbeck, external member March 2019
MA programmes review, School of History, University of East Anglia, ext. memb. June 2011
Peer reviewer: AHRC, ERC, ESRC, Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Academic promotions assessor: University of Nottingham, 2017; University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia 2013; Stirling University 2012; University of Alberta 2011
Editorial board member: Slavonic&East European Review (2011- ); Reviews in History (2014- ), Journal of Balkan&Near Eastern Studies (2001- ; book reviews editor 2001-06); European History Quarterly (2003-21); Nationalities Papers (2009-19); editor: Contemporary European History (2013-14)
Fellow, Royal Historical Society 2008–
Membership, professional bodies: Alexander von Humboldt UK Association 2018- ; Association for the Study of Nationalities 2004- ; British Association of Slavonic&East European Studies 2000 – (Executive committee member 2012-14)
Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, The Netherlands, prize assessor 2013
openDemocracy, contributing editor 2001-03
Oxford Analytica, political analyst 1998-2000

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