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

Academic qualifications

  • BA History, SSEES, University of London, 1996
  • PhD History, University College London, 2004

Honours and distinctions

  • Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, 2020-22
  • British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, 2019-20
  • Humboldt-Forschungsstipendium für erfahrene Wissenschaftler, 2015-16 (held at Humboldt University, Berlin)
  • Visiting Fellowship, Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence, 2014
  • Visiting Associate Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, 2010
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, 2008 –
  • Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, 2007
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, 2004
  • Scouladi Doctoral Research Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 1998-99


Areas of supervision

Prof Dejan Djokić would welcome research proposals on modern and contemporary history of South Eastern Europe. Proposals for joint supervision (with colleagues at Goldsmiths or other University of London colleges) would be welcome also, on comparative topics that would include former Yugoslavia and the Balkans.

Prof Djokić has recently supervised to successful completion the following PhD students: 

  • Christian Kurzydlowski, 'The ideology and politics of Dimitrije Ljotic and ZBOR' (main supervisor)
  • Verica Grmuša, 'Creating National Song: Sopranos, their Composers and Yugoslavism (1900-1930s)' (academic co-supervisor with Dr Berta Joncus)

Featured work

  •      Editor, Contemporary European History, 2013-2014
  •      Reviews editor, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 2006-2010
  •      Editorial board member, Reviews in History, 2014-present
  •      Editorial board member, Slavonic and East European Review, 2011-present
  •      Editorial board member, Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, 2009-present
  •      Editorial board member, European History Quarterly, 2003-present
  •      Editorial board member, Journal of the Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 1999-2006, 2010-present
  •      Member of the international editorial board, Politologický časopis (Czech Republic), 2006-present

Television and video output

Prof Dejan Djokić has commented on historical and contemporary events in former Yugoslavia for UK and international media, including BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and BBC World Service, Sky News, ABC National Radio (Sydney) and ITN News, and has written for the Guardian, Independent, New Statesman, openDemocracy, Times Higher Education, Times Literary Supplement, Danas and (both Belgrade).


Research Interests

Research interests

Prof Djokić's research interests lie in the field of modern history of the Balkans, in particular political, social and cultural history of former Yugoslavia. Prof Djokić's wider interests include the rise and development of national ideologies in nineteenth-century Europe, democracy and dictatorship in interwar Europe, and Cold War history. Prof Djokić seems himself both as a historian of modern Europe who specializes in former-Yugoslavia, and as an area studies scholar, engaging with, among others, anthropologists, cultural studies scholars and political and social scientists researching the Balkans.

In 2009, Prof Djokić founded an inter-disciplinary Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths and, with a group of historians from other institutions, 'Rethinking Modern Europe', an Institute of Historical Research seminar. In July 2014, Prof Djokić's was awarded Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers by Germany's Humboldt Foundation. 

Monographs and publications

Elusive Compromise

Prof Djokić's publications include two monographs and four edited volumes. Prof Djokić's first monograph, Elusive Compromise (2007), is concerned with the Serb-Croat 'question' in interwar Yugoslavia, and is based on his doctoral and postdoctoral research in Croatian, Serbian, UK and US archives. Most scholars approach the subject through the ethnic conflict framework, but Prof Djokić argues that the period can be best understood through an analysis of attempts to reach a compromise, and when placed in the context of a European-wide struggle between centralism and federalism and between democracy and dictatorship.

Reviews include:

'Key scholars have posited that failure was in the DNA of the first Yugoslavia – born of the First World War, destroyed by the Second – but Djokić argues that interwar Yugoslavia was not doomed by conflicting Croatian and Serbian national ideologies. Failure came rather from the inability of politicians to compromise over the centralization of state power. Hence, the state failed because of political decisions taken or not taken in the flush of events, not because of primordial forces. Djokić does not ultimately prove the counterfactual that the Yugoslav idea could have been saved, but he gives it plausibility.' (Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008)

'Elusive Compromise is an original and provocative study of a key episode in Yugoslavia's history — controversial, but essential reading on the topic from now on.' (Canadian Journal of History, 44:2, 2009)

'Dejan Djokić is to be commended for having produced an excellently researched and very well-written book. He has avoided nationalist clichés and a strongly partisan tone and presented the reader with new interpretations of original source material. As such, the book contrasts markedly with much of the writing about the former Yugoslavia since the 1990s.' (European History Quarterly, 40:2, 2010).

'Elusive Compromise is one of the best books that is available on the monarchist Yugoslavia' (Časopis za suvremenu povijest [Journal of Contemporary History, Croatia], no. 1, 2010).

Pašić and Trumbić

Prof Djokić's second monograph Pašić and Trumbić (2010) is in some ways a spin-off of the first monograph. It analyses the Serb-Croat 'question' through the relationship between the leading Serb and the leading Croat politician during Yugoslavia's formative period and its international debut at the Paris Peace Conference. By combining diplomatic/political history with biography, Prof Djokić approaches the subject from an original angle and challenge post-factum interpretations of Yugoslavia as doomed-from-the-start state.

Reviews include:

‘Readers interested in Balkan history, the fallout of the [Paris] Peace Conference, and the origins of Yugoslavia will be delighted […] What could be a convoluted, nitpicky story is instead comprehensive and clear, interpreted by a master scholar.’ (ForeWord Reviews, 4 September 2010)

‘The book offers a sober and insightful description of the immense task that awaited the Yugoslav delegation and useful short biographies of Pašić and Trumbić. Yet, Djokić’s book is not just about this, [but also] about the Yugoslav idea and its development in early twentieth century’ (Austrian History Yearbook, vol. XLII, 2011).

'The traditional view of diplomatic history as dry and inaccessible cannot be applied in this case. In addition to never becoming aberrant, Djokić’s work remains lucid from beginning to end and is thus highly recommendable both for students and researchers unfamiliar with the Balkans or the interwar period... Djokić should be congratulated for drawing attention to a much neglected area of study that has unfairly come to be defined through more recent historical events, and for moving the debate forward.' (European History Quarterly, 43:3, 2013).


The volumes Prof Djokić has edited (and contributed to) include two multi-disciplinary books exploring the idea(s) of Yugoslavia throughout the twentieth century (Yugoslavism, 2003) and the latest research on some of the key themes in the modern South Slav history and politics (New Perspectives on Yugoslavia, 2011, co-edited with James Ker-Lindsay). Both books have received favourable reviews, while the former has become a standard text in the field.

Prof Djokić has also guest-edited a special issue of European History Quarterly  (36:3, 2006) on the Labour Party and European Left, which includes his article on the early British responses to Milovan Djilas' dissent and his conflict with President Tito of Yugoslavia. In 2013, Prof Djokić edited a collection of articles (Nesentimentalni idealisti) which originally appeared in a journal published by émigré Serbian democrats in Paris and London during the Cold War. In addition to some 400 articles, the book includes my own introductory study (17,000 words) and explanatory footnotes.

Current projects

Prof Djokić is currently working on a third monograph, A Concise History of Serbia, under contract with Cambridge University Press. 




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. 2010. 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 . 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 . 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

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