Dr Ljubica Spaskovska
Lecturer in European History
My research interests are in the political and socio-cultural history of internationalism, including development, 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.
A monograph, 1989. A Global History of Eastern Europe, 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.
My current research seeks to write neutrality and non-alignment back into European history and rethink twentieth-century European history from a South / non-aligned perspective.
My current book project provisionally titled Comrades, Guerillas, Diplomats: Yugoslavia, Non-Alignment and the Quest for a New International Order, 1930-1990 seeks to globalise the history of European violence by tracing a relationship between the Spanish Civil War, WW2 and the post-1945 wars of decolonisation, and show the evolvement of interwar anti-imperialism into a broader 'Third World' internationalist alliance. Often portrayed as a European post-imperial periphery synonymous with conflict and a buffer zone between the Cold War superpowers, the monograph reconceptualises the Balkans and South East Europe as a crucial actor in 20th-century histories of internationalism, antifascism, global socialism and decolonisation, shaping debates and policies on post-colonial ‘worldmaking’, including international governance, neutrality, development and the global economic order.
External impact and engagement
I serve as an external expert on the intergovernmental Macedonian-Bulgarian expert commission on educational and historical issues that 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.
My research on non-aligned internationalism, the UN and the reconstruction of Skopje was also featured in the official exhibition catalogue of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje for the Skopje Resurgent exhibition echoing the 1966 UN report and documenting the creation of the Museum and its collection that 'testifies to a radically cosmopolitan, multicultural legacy for socialist Southeastern Europe.'
Contribution to discipline
I am a member of the Advisory Board of the ERC Advanced Grant "Humanitarianism and Mediterranean Europe: A Transnational and Comparative History (1945-1990)" led by Professor Silvia Salvatici from the University of Milan. The project rethinks the history of international aid in the second half of the 20th century by restoring to view the contributions of Mediterranean Europe (Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal) to shaping the contemporary humanitarian regime.
- ‘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
- ‘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 mutiple perspectives helps students develop historical understanding to contruct their own historical knowledge. Where relevant, 'historical empathy' ('the skill to recognise how people in the past viewed their circumstances, evaluated their opinions, made decisions and how their perceptions were shaped by their values, beliefs and attitudes') and 'perspective taking' can be used as tools to facilitate a grasp of multiple perspectives.
I was delighted to win a teaching award in the 'Inspirational Teaching' category in the 2020 Teaching Awards run by the University of Exeter Student Guild.
- HIH1420 - Understanding the Modern World
- 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
- HISM027 - The Cold War: A Global History
I completed a PhD in History at Exeter University in 2014. Between 2014 and 2019 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. Between 2009 and 2014 I was part of the University of Edinburgh based project 'Europeanisation of citizenship in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia' (CITSEE).
I received an MA in Central European History 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 Macedonia and at Duke University (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.