MATEJA REŽEK, PhD, Senior Research Associate

Institute for Historical Studies

Phone: +386 5 663 77 00

 E-naslov: mateja.rezek@zrs‐

Research areas:

  • Contemporary history
  • Political history; Diplomatic history; Cold War; Yugoslavia; Socialism; Federalism; Political dissidence; Censorship; History textbooks


Mateja Režek has a PhD in history and works as a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Historical Studies of the Science and Research Centre Koper. She graduated from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, and became a young researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History in Ljubljana in 1995. She received her PhD from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, in 2000 with a dissertation entitled “Political Changes in Slovenia/Yugoslavia in the Decade following the Cominform Conflict, 1948–1958.” After her doctorate, she continued her research at the Institute of Contemporary History, where she was employed until 2006, and then at the Institute of Humanities in Ljubljana. Since 2012 she has been employed at the Science and Research Centre in Koper. 

The field of her research is contemporary political and diplomatic history. She focuses on the history of socialist Yugoslavia and the Cold War, especially on: relations between Yugoslavia and the countries of the Middle East and the Eastern bloc; political dissidence and censorship during the period of socialism; federalism and the national question; the politicization of historiography and history textbooks; and the relations between church and state. She has authored two scientific monographs and contributed numerous scientific articles to peer-reviewed journals and collected volumes. Her bibliography comprises a total of more than 140 items.

She has worked within a number of research projects, two of which she led. The result of her basic research project entitled “Freedom of Speech and Press: its Restriction in Slovenia, 1945–1990,” the comprehensive monograph Cenzurirano: zgodovina cenzure na Slovenskem od 19. stoletja do danes [Censored: History of Censorship in Slovenia from the 19th Century to the Present], was awarded an outstanding scientific achievement by the Slovenian Research Agency in 2010.

In addition to her research, Mateja Režek has also been engaged in pedagogical work. Between 2007 and 2016, she was employed as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Primorska, where she lectured in World History of the 20th Century and History of the Balkans. She is also the co-author of history textbooks for secondary schools and a member of the National Commission for the Matura Exam in History.

Research activity:

Mateja Režek has worked within 3 research programmes:

  • “Slovenia and the Mediterranean” (2018–);
  • “Humanities and the Sense of Humanity from Historical and Contemporary Viewpoints” (2006–2017);
  • “Ideological-political and Cultural Pluralism and Monism in Slovenia in the 20th Century” (1999–2006).

She managed and successfully completed 2 research projects:

  • “Freedom of Speech and Press: its Restriction in Slovenia, 1945–1990” (2008–2011);
  • “The Political History of the Slovenes in Yugoslavia” (2002–2005);

and has been a member of 15 other research projects, among them:

  • “Antifascism in the Julian March in Transnational Perspective, 1919–1954” (2018–2021);
  • “The Engagement between Marxism and Christianity in Slovenia, 1931–1991” (2018–2021);
  • “Yugoslav Self-Management Experiment and the Discussion on Development of European Socialism between East and West, 1950–1980” (2015–2018);
  • “Slovene Diplomats and Foreign Policy Aspects of the Independence Process of the Republic of Slovenia, 1980–1992” (2014–2017);
  • “Sites of Memory, Sites of Barrier: Memory and Identity in the Italo-Slovene Borderlands in the Long Twentieth Century” (2014–2017);
  • “Balkan Borderlands: Violence, Conflicts, and Cooperation” (2012–2015);
  • “The Slovenes in Yugoslav Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs Activities, 1941–1980” (2011–2014);
  • “Position and Role of Slovenia in the Yugoslav State, 1945–1991” (2010–2013); etc.

In the capacity of a leader or member of programme committees, she has organised several conferences, among them: “The Yugoslav Laboratory of Political Innovation: the Origins, Synthesis and International Influences of Self-management Socialism” (Koper, 2018); “International and Transnational Aspects of the Yugoslav Crisis and the Establishment of Successor States, 1980–1992” (Koper, 2016); “Tito’s Yugoslavia as a Diplomatic Challenge of the 20th Century” (Koper, 2012); “Historical and Social Aspects of Censorship in Slovenia” (Ljubljana, 2009); “Contemporary Slovenian Historiography” (Ljubljana, 2007); etc. She has also presented her research findings at a number of other conferences in Slovenia, the United States, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, etc.