Milica Popović

Milica Popović (Yugoslavia)

Sciences Po, Center for International Studies, Paris
Visegrad Scholarship at OSA
Attendance Period: 
Jan/2024 - Feb/2024
Research Title: 
The Silence of Saying No. Narrating Desertion
Research Description: 

At the intersection of political sociology and memory studies, the project aims to understand the discursive interpretations and memory narratives on desertion during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. Amnesty International estimates that, with amnesty laws, since 2001, Serbia pardoned approximately 26,000 men. The number of people who flew Serbia is estimated to be over 100,000; in Croatia, it is assumed that there were indeed thousands of deserters from the Croatian army. Today, deserters are commemorated within small activist communities in Belgrade and across the (post)Yugoslav space, yet these commemorations barely make it to the local news, let alone to mainstream memory discourses. Organized forgetting, as much as organized remembrance, serves the ideological aims of contemporary political struggles, and enlightening the silences helps us understand the groundedness of ethno-nationalism and communitarianism in the wake of wars. Within a larger project, this research focuses on the critical discourse analysis of framing of desertion in the media and discourse of the political elites in power at the time of the wars.

Dr. Milica Popović is a political scientist specializing in memory, political sociology, and higher education studies. She obtained her PhD in Comparative Political Sociology at Sciences Po Paris and in Balkan Studies at the University of Ljubljana on the topic of Yugonostalgia and the generation of the last pioneers. From 2021 to June 2023, Popović has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Central European University, leading the Global Observatory on Academic Freedom, for which she has obtained the DAAD Fundamental Academic Values Award in December 2022. Popović has been a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris. Her research interests are in the field of generations and transmission of memory; Yugoslav identity; museum and art representations of contentious histories; memory politics in the Balkans. She is currently developing a new project on the memory of deserters in Yugoslav wars.