Dr Denisa Kostovicova

Portrait photo of Denisa Kostovicova

Associate Professor in Global Politics 
Convenor of MSc in Conflict Studies

Email: d.kostovicova@lse.ac.uk 
Office: CON 4.15, Connaught House
Office Hours: On leave 2015-16 
Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6916


Dr Denisa Kostovicova is an Associate Professor in Global Politics at the Government Department and a Research Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has a PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an MA from Central European University, Czech Republic. She was also educated at the University of Maine, US, and Belgrade University, Serbia. She held Junior Research Fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and Linacre College, Oxford.

Dr Kostovicova has been awarded a Research Fellowship for 2015-16 by the Leverhulme Trust. She will look at ‘Reconciliation Within and Across Divided Societies: evidence from the Balkans’. Using the knowledge of all of the Balkan languages, and building on her work on civil society in post-conflict contexts, Dr Kostovicova will study the RECOM process in the Balkans. This unique, locally-driven NGO initiative for establishing facts about war crimes gathers civil society groups from all ethnic groups in the region. The research will provide a systematic evaluation of a claim that a regional character of contemporary wars has to be addressed with a regional approach to transitional justice, and identify conditions conducive to reconciliation across the ethnic divide.

Dr Kostovicova has participated in a number of international research projects, such as the European Study Group on Europe's Security Capabilities, convened by Professor Mary Kaldor at the invitation of Javier Solana, EU Foreign Policy Chief (2004-2008); the EU's Seventh Framework Project, 'Multi-stakeholder Partnerships in Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Role of the European Union' (2008-2010), and 2010-2011, 'Networks of Regressive Globalisation and Challenges to International Assistance' funded by Agence Française de Développement (2010-2011).

Dr Kostovicova's research interests include nationalism and democratisation in the global age, post-conflict reconstruction and security, civil society and human security, war crimes and transitional justice, and European integration of Western Balkans. She is the author of Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (Routledge 2005) and co-editor of Transnationalism in the Balkans(Routledge 2008), Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age (Ashgate 2009), Bottom-up Politics: An Agency-Centred Approach to Globalization (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), and Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).

Recent presentations

‘Assessing the Regional Approach to Transitional Justice: Testing the RECOM initiative in the Western Balkans’ at British International Studies Annual Conference, London, June 2015
‘RECOM as a critique of a diffusionist paradigm in transitional justice scholarship’ at the ‘Mapping the nexus between critical peacebuilding and transitional justice’ roundtable, British International Studies Annual Conference, London, June 2015

Research Interests

  • Democratisation and ethnic conflict
  • Nationalism and globalisation
  • Post-conflict reconstruction
  • Human security
  • Civil society and transitional justice
  • European integration of Western Balkans

Teaching Responsibilities

  • GV4A4The Politics of Globalization
  • GV4C2: Globalisation, Conflict and Post-Totalitarianism
  • GV4G4Comparative Conflict Analysis


Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans

Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans

This book examines the ambiguous role played by civil society in state-building, democratisation and post-conflict reconstruction in the Western Balkans. In doing so, it challenges the received wisdom that civil society is always a force for good.

Bottom-Up Politics

Bottom-Up Politics: An Agency-Centred Approach to Globalization

Inspired by the work of Mary Kaldor on global civil society and new wars, the authors explore complex, counterintuitive and even unintended forms and consequences of bottom-up politics as the state loses its dominance as a political actor in the global era. Leading theorists such as Albrow, Falk, Held, Rothschild and Sassen, together with young scholars demonstrate the importance of agency to our understanding of globalization.

State Weakness in the Global Age

Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age 

Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age addresses the question of why state weakness in the global era persists. It debunks a common assumption that state weakness is a stop-gap on the path to state failure and state collapse.

Transnationalism in the Balkans

Transnationalism in the Balkans 

Transnationalism in the Balkans provides a sobering insight into the nature of cross-border links in the region and their implications. Several of the authors show how transnational connections in the context of weak states and new borders in the region have been used by transnational actors – be it in the politics, economics and culture -- to undermine a democratic consolidation and keep the practice of exclusive ethnic politics and identities alive.


Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space 

Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space explores the Albanian-Serbian confrontation after Slobodan Milosevic's rise to power and the policy of repression in Kosovo through the lens of the Kosovo education system.