Vesna Pusic

Vesna Pusic

Main areas of academic and research interest: political theory, theory of democracy, transition and transformation in post-communist and post-conflict societies, organizational theory, industrial relations, industrial democracy and gender studies. I have published scientific work and lectured in all of these areas.

  • 1975 – 1979: worked as a member of the IDE - International Research Group doing comparative research on industrial democracy in twelve European countries, coordinated from the Wissenschaftscentrum, Berlin. Co-authored the research-based publications: “Industrial Democracy in Europe” and “European Industrial Relations”, both Clarendon Press, Oxford 1981.

  • 1976 – 1978: worked as a researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

  • Since 1978: working at the Sociology Department, University of Zagreb; 1992-1994, Head of the Department;

  • 1998: elected to full Professor, teaching courses in Sociology of Politics and Theories of Industrial Democracy.

  • Since 2010: still formally affiliated with the University of Zagreb, but not teaching.

During the course of my professional career, I have either led or participated in a number of empirical research projects.

  • From 1989 to 1991 I conducted an empirical study on managerial style in 18 of the most successful industrial organizations in Croatia. This served as the basis for an analysis of the managerial elite as a potential caretaker political elite for the transition period in Croatia. The results of this study were published in my book The Leaders and the Managers, Novi Liber, 1992.

  • In 1995/96 I coordinated an empirical research project on dominant political, religious, family, work and environmental values in Croatia, which was a part of the global World Value Survey started 17 years earlier by the Institute of Social Research at the University of Michigan. This research became part of a larger project effort in Croatia, entitled A New Agenda for a New Democracy.

  • Women and Society – In 1979, together with six other women, started the first feminist group in the former Yugoslavia. At that time feminism was seen both politically and socially as very controversial. But political pressure and attacks created the opposite effect and the group attracted significant interest and grew quickly. Since at that time NGOs were unknown and nonexistent in Yugoslavia, we were also seen as illegal and threatened with formal action. The Croatian Sociological Association offered to host us as part of their activities and the initiative survived within that framework. It became the seminal women’s and feminist organization in Croatia for years to come.

  • Erasmus Guild - In 1992 I co-founded and became director of the Erasmus Guild, a nongovernment, non-partisan think-tank for the culture of democracy. The think-tank was active from 1992 to 1998. Erasmus Guild published a political journal – ERASMUS, a series of books on political culture, democracy and political transition, as well as organized a number of round-tables on various political issues. All our activities focused on advocating dialogue and finding peaceful solutions for the wars that at that time raged in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. We also provided a critical analysis of authoritarian regimes of the 1990s both in Croatia and other countries in the region. Fighting extreme nationalism, in the fall of 1993 Erasmus organized the round-table discussion «Serbs and Croats». It was the first meeting of intellectuals, civil society representatives and Catholic and Orthodox Church officials from Croatia and Serbia since the beginning of the war. For 6 years Erasmus provided a strong voice in Croatia against authoritarianism, extreme nationalism and war. It was strongly criticized by the authorities, but it also provided a positive influence on the changes that started in the second half of the 90s.

  • Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, First Deputy Prime Minister, Government of the Republic of Croatia

  • Member of Croatian Parliament, elected 2000, 2003, 2007, 2011; 2016;

    • Member of Foreign Relations Committee, European Integration Committee, Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System, Defense Committee, Joint Parliamentary Committee Croatia – EU;

    • Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament 2003 – 2007, 2016;

    • President of the National Committee for Monitoring the EU Accession Negotiations 2007 - 2011;

    • Parliamentary floor leader of Croatian People’s Party group in the Croatian Parliament 2000 – 2003, 2007 – 2011;

  • Vice-president of ELDR (European Liberal Democrat and Reform party) – elected for two terms;

  • Leader, Croatian People’s Party, 2000 – 2008, 2013 – 2016;

  • Official Croatian candidate for the position of the next UN Secretary-General 2015

  • Honorary president of the Croatian People´s Party – Liberal Democrats, 2016

  • 1992 to 1997 - member of the Joint Committee for Eastern Europe of the American Council of Learned Societies. Member of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies.

  • I have lectured at the University of Chicago; the American University, Washington, D.C.; The New School for Social Research, N.Y.; Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; The Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.; the International Democratic Forum, Washington, D.C.; the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Dept. of State and gave talks at a number of other European and American institutions.

  • During the academic year 1996/97 I was the E.L.Wiegand Distinguished Visiting Professor of Democratization at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C.

  • I spent the academic year 1984/85 at the School of International Service, The American University, Washington, D.C. as a H. H. Humphrey Fellow specializing in management of human resources.

  • In 1980 I taught at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T.(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Democracies and Dictatorships, Durieux, 1998.

  • The Leaders and the Managers, Novi Liber, 1992.

  • Industrial Democracy and Civil Society, Sociološko društvo Hrvatske, 1986.

  • Industrial Democracy in Europe, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981. (co-author)

  • European Industrial Relations, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981. (co-author)

  • Author of approximately 50 scientific and professional articles in domestic and international journals

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