Dr Ljubica Spaskovska
Senior Lecturer in European History
My research interests are in the history of South East Europe, the political and socio-cultural history of internationalism, including development, nonalignment, decolonisation and histories of generations, while providing important new perspectives on the (re) making of anti-imperial Europe and approaches to European-Global South relations. My recent research has been published in the Journal of World History, Contemporary European History, Labor History and Nationalities Papers.
My first monograph The Last Yugoslav Generation: the Rethinking of Youth Politics and Cultures in Late Socialism (Manchester University Press) was published in April 2017. A paperback edition came out in August 2019.
1989. A Global History of Eastern Europe, co-written with my colleagues James Mark, Tobias Rupprecht and Bogdan Iacob to co-incide with the thirtieth anniversary of the 1989 revolutions, was published by Cambridge University Press in September 2019.
Ongoing book projects:
Subaltern Globalists: South-Eastern Europe and 20th-century Internationalism
The complex interaction of nationalism and internationalism could be said to have defined the 20th century - from the “Wilsonian moment” to 1989. South-Eastern Europe exemplifies the mutually constitutive nature of these “faithfully twinned ideologies”. This research makes sense of that complex link and of the interconnected nature of the different visions and approaches to the "international", in a region often portrayed as a European post-imperial periphery synonymous with conflict and a buffer zone between the Cold War superpowers. The monograph recovers the region's critical role in 20th-century histories of internationalism and global governance.
Grants and funded research:
In 2022 I was awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for a project entitled The Urban Internationale: The United Nations and Urban Development 1945-1980. The research will combine an institutional history with a life-story / biographical history approach in order to understand how international organisations and transnational networks of architects, planners and international civil servants conceptualised cities as powerful embodiments of the welfare state. It will examine the ways ideas and templates of post-war urban development circulated, were exported and received or resisted across the Cold War and the North-South divides between 1945 and 1980. The output will be a journal article.
"Care and Intimacies in Irregular Warfare" (special issue): AHRC project Colonial and transnational intimacies: Medical humanitarianism in the French external resistance (1940-1945) (University of Manchester) and SNSF project La Croix-Face à l'étoile rouge: humanitaire et communisme au XXe siècle (University of Fribourg).
External impact and engagement
Work with museums:
- Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (Austria). "No Feeling is Final: The Skopje Solidarity Collection" (2023), text for the official exibition booklet and public lecture.
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje (North Macedonia). Skopje Resurgent exhibition (2021), research-based text for the official exhibition catalogue.
- Museum of the History of Yugoslavia, Belgrade (Serbia). Collective volume Yugoslavia: Why and How? (2019), available on the Museum's website.
- A. M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah (Palestine). A research article for an exhibition on the geopolitics of oil in 2024 to assist the curatorial team in planning and design.
- External expert on the intergovernmental Macedonian-Bulgarian Expert Commission on Educational and Historical Issues. The Commission follows in the footsteps of many other similar bodies in Europe (most notably the German-French textbook commission) that sought to 'depolarise the past' and revise historical textbooks in order to overcome mistrust and improve history education.
Contribution to discipline
- Book Review Editor, Contemporary European History
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Advisory Board member, ERC Advanced Grant "Humanitarianism and Mediterranean Europe: A Transnational and Comparative History (1945-1990)" led by Professor Silvia Salvatici.
- Academic Advisory Group, AHRC Networking grant, "Ideology and Systemic Competition: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives", led by Dr Jonathan Leader Maynard.
- 'The Youth Press in Yugoslavia', episodes 3 and 4, RTS - Serbian public service broadcaster
- ‘The 1963 Skopje earthquake and its international significance: an interview with Ljubica Spaskovska’, Imperial & Global Forum
- ‘Non-Aligned Punk: The Last Yugoslav Generation’, Imperial & Global Forum
- ‘Revisiting Non-Alignment and Yugoslavia’s Global Role’, Globalising Southeast Europe Research Blog
- ‘How Macedonia found itself at the centre of Europe’s refugee crisis’, The Conversation
- ‘The battle for Skopje – urban citizenship and the legacy of the past’, The New Metropolitan: New Cultures of Urban Citizenship
- ‘The future of the past: why the end of Yugoslavia is still important’, Open Democracy
- ‘From feudal socialism to feudal democracy - the trials and tribulations of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’, Open Democracy
- ‘”Death to fascism, freedom to expression!” – post-Yugoslav media and freedom of speech, Open Democracy
- ‘Urban struggles – activist citizenship in South East Europe’, Citizenship in Southeast Europe
- ‘The Last Yugoslav Generation’ (video written and narrated by L. Spaskovska, directed by Yorgos Karagiannakis), CITSEE, University of Edinburgh
I am committed to research and inquiry-led teaching and to working with my students as co-producers of knowledge to create a collaborative and inclusive educational experience.
I endeavour to embed multiperspectivity in all of the modules I teach. I believe analysing historical events from multiple perspectives helps students develop historical understanding to construct their own historical knowledge.
2020 Teaching Awards, University of Exeter Student Guild: Winner in the "Inspirational Teaching" category, College of Humanities.
- HIH2001 - Doing History: Perspectives on Sources
- HIH3005 - General Third-Year Dissertation
- HIH3314 - Governing the World: A History of Internationalism from WW1 to the Present: Context
- HIH3315 - Governing the World: A History of Internationalism from WW1 to the Present: Sources
- HIH3633 - Revolutions
- HISM016 - Advanced Historical Research Skills
- HISM046 - Global Governance for Peace, Security, Cooperation and Development, 1914 to the present
I received a Doctorate in History from the University of Exeter in 2014. I was a post-doctoral research fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project 1989 after 1989: rethinking the fall of state socialism in a global perspective at Exeter led by Professor James Mark before being appointed to a permanent lectureship in 2019. I was also part of the research team on the University of Edinburgh based ERC project "Europeanisation of citizenship in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia" (CITSEE).
I received an MA in History with Distinction from the Central European University in 2009 and an MA in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe from the Universities of Bologna and Sarajevo in 2007. I did my undergraduate studies in North Macedonia and at Duke University in the U.S. and I had previsouly worked as a project assistant at the Macedonain Academy of Sciences and Arts, in the civil society sectors in Macedonia and in Kosovo and as a literary translator from French.