I lecture in UC Berkeley’s History Department, where I filed my dissertation, ‘“Almost a Revolution”: 1960s Liberals and Liberal Reforms in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia,’ and where I offer courses on modern economic history and seminars on quantitative history and data science.
My book project, which is based on my dissertation, recounts the first attempt by a socialist regime to integrate a planned economy into international markets, and connects this to the broader question of why some authoritarian attempts at economic openness succeed while others fail. Yugoslavia provides an excellent case study because, during the 1960s, a cohort of mostly younger cadres supported reforms based on political decentralization and economic liberalization that subsequently contributed to a debilitating debt crisis. The rushed liberalization of economic and political life during Yugoslavia’s 1960s reforms prefigured the 1980s Soviet reforms, while the expression of national grievances during the reforms suggests the significance of Yugoslavia’s experience: the more internally divided the polity, the greater the challenge of economic opening, especially if accompanied by political decentralization.
During the Fellowship, I will revise my manuscript for publication and start research at the EU Archives on the early projects of the European Investment Bank in Eastern Europe.