Dr Denisa  Kostovicova

Dr Denisa Kostovicova

Associate Professor in Global Politics

European Institute

+44 (0)207 955 6916
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Office Hours
By appointment via Student Hub
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Albanian, Arabic, Czech, English, German, Serbian, Slovakian
Key Expertise
Transitional Justice, Conflict Processes, Post-conflict Reconstruction

About me

Denisa Kostovicova is a scholar of post-conflict reconstruction with a particular interest in post-conflict justice processes. She applies a bottom-up perspective on transition from war to peace and studies cross-border dynamics (political, social and economic) and their impact on post-conflict recovery. Her regional specialism is the Balkans, but she has also done comparative work with other post-conflict zones. She is the author of Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (2005) and co-editor of a number of edited volumes, including Transnationalism in the Balkans (2008), Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age (2009), Bottom-up Politics: An Agency-Centred Approach to Globalization (2011), Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans (2013), and Rethinking Reconciliation and Transitional Justice After Conflict (2018).

Expertise Details

Transitional Justice; Conflict Processes; Civil Society; Post-conflict Reconstruction; Balkans

Current Projects

Since 2018, Dr Kostovicova has been leading a 5-year project funded by the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant entitled ‘Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding: From Static to Dynamic Discourses across National, Ethnic, Gender and Age Groups (JUSTINT)’. To learn about the project visit: http://www.lse.ac.uk/european-institute/research/justint. In 2015, she was awarded a Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust to investigate ‘Reconciliation Within and Across Divided Societies: Evidence from the Balkans’. She has recently completed research collaboration with King’s College London and University of the Arts London, on the project ‘Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community,’ funded through the Large Grant scheme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the Conflict Theme of the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS) and through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) (2016-2019), to learn about the project see: artreconciliation.org. In 2017-2018, Denisa co-ordinated together with Dr Marsha Henry from the LSE’s Department of Gender Studies, the Bosnia and Herzegovina work-package of the ESRC Strategic Network on Gender Violence Across War and Peace, based at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security.

Previously, Dr Kostovicova’s research was supported by a number of grants, including from the MacArthur Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, the EU's 7th Framework Programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). She has also collaborated on numerous 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, former EU Foreign Policy Chief (2004-2008, reconvened in 2016); Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-funded project on local ownership ‘Exiting Conflict, Owning the Peace’; and was a member of an international team appointed by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig, Germany, to assess Kosovo Albanians history textbooks on behalf of the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Education Ministry in Kosovo.

Teaching Responsibilities

Dr Kostovicova convenes a specialist course on Globalisation, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction (EU4A2) and Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Europe and Beyond (EU485). She has also taught courses on comparative conflict analysis, global politics and global civil society. Before joining LSE, she had contributed teaching at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. From 2014-2018, Dr Kostovicova convened MSc Conflict Studies in the Department of Government. She is the Programme Director of MSc Culture and Conflict in Global Europe, 2019-2020. She was awarded the Major Review Teaching Prize, and was a nominee for the LSESU’s Student-Led Teaching Excellence prize twice. Her PhD students have worked on different aspects of conflict, transitional justice, and post-conflict reconstruction on a range of case-studies, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Israel-Palestine, Crimea and Moldova.

Public Policy and Public Engagement

Dr Kostovicova maintains a keen interest in policy implications of her research on post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation, and regularly engages in knowledge exchange with policy makers in the EU, the UK and the Balkans. Most recently, she has contributed to the House of Lords International Relations Committee Inquiry report ‘The UK and the future of the Western Balkans’ and the House of Commons Balkans Inquiry. She has written policy papers and reports for the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme. She authored many policy analysis pieces published by Oxford Analytica, Chaillot Papers, Strategic Comment (Institute of Strategic Studies), openDemocracy, Warreport, Transitions on-line, Development & Transition, etc. She has contributed comment for the UK and international media, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Observer, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, Associated Press, Public Radio International (US), and others. Also, she regularly blogs for LSE’s Department of Government blog and EUROPP.


Education and Professional Experience

Dr Kostovicova graduated from the University of Maine, U.S., and has a PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an MA from the Central European University, Czech Republic. Before joining the LSE, she held Junior Research Fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and Linacre College, Oxford. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, she worked as a journalist during the wars of Yugoslavia’s dissolution in 1990s, reporting for the CNN World Report and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others.

Video and Audio

What we should have known (TEDx talk - TEDxLSE, March 2017)

Women in Conflict: violence, injustice and power (LSE Government 'Conflict Research Group' public lecture, April 2015)


My research