Research

As a historian, I am especially interested in the international, the political and the symbolic dimensions of historical processes, and in the question how historical legacies affect current situations. During my studies at University, my focus of interest was on 20th century history and current political challenges in Europe, with a specific focus on France, Germany and the relations between both countries. My PhD in Contemporary history dealt with „The politics of state visits: State visits as political ritual and instrument in France and Germany from 1871 to 1969“.  While after my PhD, due to other professional commitments, I restricted my research activities as historian, I have in the last years, as an independent researcher, started again to work on different topics. Since my discovery of the Western Balkans in 2001, the recent history and current situation of this region have also become a major focus of my curiosity and questioning.

Currently, I am working on three research and publication projects, which all have in common to analyze interactions within Europe and to compare different European countries, and to see the Balkans as an integral part of European history.

An European event and its aftermath: The assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia in Marseille, 9 October 1934

When King Alexander of Yugoslavia was assassinated in Marseille October 9th, 1934, at the beginning of his state visit in France, this spectacular and dramatic event led to a political crisis in Europe and provoked numerous reactions and interpretations. In my research I am especially interested in the impact and aftermath of this event, and am analyzing the Marseille assassination as a part of European history, comparing and linking the reactions and interpretations of this event as well as the uses of its memory in different parts of Europe, from 1934 until today.

Civil society mobilisation in Europe during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-1995

The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-1995 has prompted the rise of different forms of commitment and solidarity movements on the grassroot-level in many European countries. My research aims to analyze and compare various expressions and developments of this commitment, in order to better understand the specificity of these movements and their place in the history of European social and civic movements.

European war legacies: Dealing with the past and reconciliation processes in France and Germany from 1945 to today and in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the 1990s

How are European societies dealing with their difficult pasts? In this wide field of research, I am especially interested in the complex relationship between dealing with the past on the one hand, and peace-building / reconciliation on the other: To what extent are processes of dealing with the past strengthening or perturbing reconciliation processes, and to what extent are peace-building processes including or avoiding a critical facing of the past? I am working on these questions especially for France and Germany since 1945, and for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1995, taking into consideration the attitudes on the levels of high politics, public opinion and civil society. One focus of my research is the memory of rescuers and the role of “positive stories” in the culture of remembrance of post-war-societies.