Dealing with the past: putting Slovenia in comparative perspective

postdoctoral research project
Basic Info

  • Project Executive on ZRC

    Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc, PhD
  • Original Title

    Soočanje s preteklostjo: postaviti Slovenijo v primerjalno perspektivo

  • Duration

    since January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018
  • Financial Source

    Slovenian Research Agency

The project examines whether/how the processes of establishing facts about the past criminal events changes the dominant historical perceptions in a society. Hence, the project challenges one of the basic assumption of transitional justice theory which claims that once the ‘truth’ is publicly presented, it becomes a part of public memory, which demands a new "politics of memory" of the state. The project also puts under scrutiny the presumption of the 'reformatory' potential that politics of memory may play in the process of dealing with the crimes committed by the state in the past. Therefore, the project examines when acts of memory politics (e.g. public commemorations, history textbooks etc.) play the reconciliatory role in the society, and when the nation-building momentum leads the process into deepening social division, pushing it further away from the ideal of what 'dealing with the past' should be.



MIHAJLOVIĆ TRBOVC, Jovana. Homecomings from "The Hague": media coverage of ICTY defendants after trial and punishment. International Criminal Justice Review, online first, 2018.

MIHAJLOVIĆ TRBOVC, Jovana, PETROVIĆ, Vladimir. The impact of the ICTY on democratization in the Yugoslav successor states. V: RAMET, Sabrina P. (ur.), HASSENSTAB, Christine M. (ur.), LISTHAUG, Ola (ur.). Building democracy in the Yugoslav successor states: accomplishments, setbacks, and challenges since 1990. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017, str. 135-161.

Selected conference papers:

"Alternative calendars in Bosnia and Herzegovina", Memory Studies Association 2nd Annual Conference, Copenhagen, 14-16 December 2017.

"Homecomings from The Hague : public perception of the defendants from the ICTY in the aftermath of the legal trials", European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, University of Oslo, 6-9 September 2017.

"History textbooks in war-time : the use of WWII in 1990s war propaganda in the former Yugoslavia", annual interdisciplinary conference Princeton conjunction "War frenzy: exploring the violence of propaganda", Princeton University, 12-14 May 2017. (with Tamara Pavasović Trošt)

"Judgement and justification in courtroom and commemoration: ICTY and memory of Croat-Bosniak conflict", 6th Annual Conference of The Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network, Amsterdam, 2 December 2016. 

"Public memory from ethno-national marker to subversive political activism",  international conference "Politics of Enmity - can Nation ever be emancipatory?", Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, 28 September 2016.

"Lack of Pliberk/Bleiburg in Slovene Memoryscape", seminar "Bleiburg & Beyond: Transnational Approaches Towards Memory Politics and Commemorative Practices", Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, 13 May 2016.


Co-organised workshop "Memory laws: legal regulation of historical interpretations", Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Ljubljana, 13-14 October 2017. (with Jelena Đureinović)

In media:

MIHAJLOVIĆ TRBOVC, Jovana (interviewee), ŠKERL, Uroš (interviewer). Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc: Celo Radovan Karadžić ne zanika več vseh zločinov v Srebrenici! : intervju. Dnevnik online, 26 March 2016.

politics of memory
transitional justice
Second world war
dissolution of Yugoslavia