Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Southeast European History

Completed Externally Funded Projects

  • Bedrohliche Wende nach ideologischer Erstarrung: das jugoslawische 1989 "revisited" (Threatening Turnaround after Ideological Rigidity: Yugoslavia in 1989 "Revisited")

The DAAD-funded network project "Bedrohliche Wende nach ideologischer Erstarrung: das jugoslawische 1989 ‚revisited‘" will focus primarily on the phase of late socialism, with a particular focus on the controversial Yugoslav transition year of 1989. The project continues the successful multi-year collaboration with university partner institutions from Belgrade, Sarajevo, Skopje, Pula, and Koper, and this year expands the partner institutions to include Zagreb as a new institutional partner. In addition, individual partners from Kosovo will be included in the program. Due to the composition of the research team and the different institutional location of the colleagues at universities in different former Yugoslav republics, it is possible to deal with the problem outlined above in a "decentralized" way, thus taking into account the diversity of the Yugoslav "environments". Due attention will be paid to an overemphasis on ethnocentric narratives, which still characterizes this topic, with a special curiosity also for the plurality of intellectual and political life, which also experienced an incomparable boom in 1989. (more...)

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  • Entangled histories. German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation of Greece during the Second World War

The Gerda Henkel Foundation finances this project, which explores the Italian, German and Bulgarian occupation of Greece with a comparative and historically interactive approach.

The main question of the research project is which factors promoted or inhibited violence during this period of occupation. Beyond ideological and intentionalist approaches, the analysis will concentrate on socio-economic factors such as supply regimes and societal developments.

The following areas lie at the core of the research programme:

  1. The study of the interaction between the three occupation powers and their respective perceptions
  2. The comparison of the different occupation regimes and their strategies of governance
  3. The analysis of the influence of local factors on the history of the occupation on the basis of local case studies

Four historians, with different academic backgrounds and archival experience will be involved in the project. It aim is to deploy these competences in a joint venture that will enable the development of a new and integral perspective of the history of the occupation of Greece.

The team members are:

 Dr. Paolo Fonzi (Project Co-ordinator)

Kostas Katsoudas (Pandeion University, Athens, Greece)

Dr. Tchavdar  Marinov (Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”, Bulgaria)

Dr. Nadège Ragaru (Science Po, Paris, France)


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  • Phantom Borders in East-Central Europe


  • The objective of the project „Phantom Borders“, financed by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, is to analyse the borders that no longer exist but that nevertheless continue, to a certain extent, to structure the East Central European space. An analysis of these more or less “invisible borders” promises new scientific insights over the specific characteristics of the region and proposes an original contribution from a transnational research perspective which, in order to grasp the complexities of the new research field of “Phantom Borders”, will be based on an interdisciplinary approach. These perspectives should also make a contribution to understanding the different manifestations of difference in these respective societies.

    The project is conducted within a research network which includes: the Chair for South-East European History at the HU-Berlin, the Centre Marc Bloch (Coordinator of the network), the Centre of the Modern Orient Berlin and the Martin-Luther University in Halle. (Details)



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    • Changing Representations of Socialist Yugoslavia

    The main objective of this project is to bring together students, doctoral researchers, post-docs and professors of history from Belgrade, Sarajevo and Berlin to discuss the research subject “Changing Representations of Yugoslavia” and explore the possibilities of new scientific approaches with an inter-disciplinary and international perspective. The objective of this cooperation is to act as a starting point for further long-term partnerships and joint projects between the participating institutions as well as further potential partners in the region with the intention internationalizing the teaching approaches of the South-East European partner universities. (Details)


    The project is conducted in joint cooperation by the Humboldt University in Berlin (Chair for South-East European History), the University of Belgrade (Faculty of Philosophy, Centre for Contemporary History of the Balkans) and the University of Sarajevo (Institute for Historical Studies) and is financed by the German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD.



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    • New Research Approaches to the Second World War in Southeast Europe

    This project, which has been running since the summer of 2014, pursues three goals. First: to promote a critical engagement with the existing historiography of the Second World War in Southeast Europe. Second: to coordinate the collective research of a group of doctoral students from Germany, France and South-East Europe dealing with new approaches and to integrate them within an international research network. Third:  the engagement with research questions which can be linked to existing historiographical trends in research related to the Second World in Europe as a whole.

    The project is led by the Chair for Southeast European History at the Humboldt University, the Centre for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies (CETOBaC) of the EHESS in Paris and the Center Marc Bloch in Berlin. At the same time, events form this project will be supported by Laboratoire d´Excellence TEPSIS, the Südosteuropagessellschaft, the CIERA center as well as the Center for the study of Anti-Semitism in Berlin.

    The opening workshop of the project took place on 5 and 6 February 2015 at the Collège de France in Paris (programme). Further conferences took place on 14-17 October 2015 at the Humboldt University in Berlin (programme)  and in March 2016 at the French School in Athens.


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  • New and Ambiguous Nation-building Processes in South-eastern Europe (1944-2010)

  • This research project examines four specific nation-building processes in South-eastern Europe after 1945: the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim), Macedonian, Moldovan and Montenegrin cases. The main focus of the interdisciplinary research of the project is on popular perceptions of nation-building. How did 'ordinary' people in these four countries, faced with communist and post-communist nation-building efforts, appropriate, reject or modify official notions of (new) national identity? What was the role of career migration or nationalisation of cultural practices and symbols for the processes of identification with the new nations? By providing historical and anthropological perspectives, this comparative study of recent and, in some respect, ambiguous nation-building processes, aims to break new scientific ground. In addition, our research will provide new insights into politically-sound and scientifically-relevant problems related to nationalism and national identity in South-eastern Europe. (Details)