Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Elections, Protests and Political Turmoil Churns in the Balkans
Register for Zoom Webinar Watch on YouTube




This event is online only.

Please join the Harriman Institute for its annual Balkan Roundtable. Moderated by Tanya Domi (Harriman Institute).



Reuf Bajrović, Vice President at the US-Europe Alliance; Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute

Ivana Stradner, Advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Barish Center for Media Integrity

Agon Maliqi, Policy Analyst; Civil Society Activist; Media Writer from Prishtina, Kosovo

Kurt Bassuener, Co-founder and Senior Associate of the Democratization Policy Council

Goran Miletić, Director for Europe and MENA at Civil Rights Defenders; Deputy Global Director

Alek Barovic, Montenegrin political scientist; columnist; civil activist

Dario Čepo, Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law

Aulonë Kadrlu, Editor of Kosovo-based online magazine Kosovo 2.0 (K2.0)

Moderated by Tanya Domi, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia SIPA; Harriman Institute Associated Faculty 



Reuf Bajrović (@ReufBajrovic) is the Vice President at the US-Europe Alliance in Washington, DC and a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Previously, he served as president of the Emerging Democracies Institute in Washington, DC, and president of the Civic Alliance political party in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Bajrovic served as the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mining of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he oversaw a portfolio of $2 billion. He has served as consultant and advisor in over a dozen countries to political parties, private foundations and development agencies. Mr. Bajrovic’s op-eds and feature articles have appeared in Die Zeit, The American Interest, Just Security, The National Interest, Haaretz, Tampa Bay Times, El Pais, and other online and print media in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East.  He is a frequent commentator for major international media.


Kurt Bassuener (@KurtBassuener) is a co-founder and senior associate of the Democratization Policy Council, a Berlin-based think-tank established in 2005. His received his PhD in 2021 from the University of St. Andrews’ Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, after successfully defending his dissertation, “Peace Cartels: Internationally Brokered Power-Sharing and Perpetual Oligarchy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia.” Kurt is co-author of the collected volume Sell Out, Tune Out, Get Out, or Freak Out? Understanding Corruption, State Capture, Radicalization, Pacification, Resilience, and Emigration in Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia, a collaborative project of DPC and Eurothink, supported by USAID.  He is also co-author and research director for the Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support, a project of the Community of Democracies. He lived for eleven years in Sarajevo, starting in 2005 as a strategist for then-High Representative Paddy Ashdown. 




Goran Miletić obtained a Master of Laws from Belgrade University (Serbia) and a European Regional MA in Democracy and Human Rights (joint programme of the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna). He had previously worked for the Humanitarian Law Centre, focusing on Roma, Albanian, and Bosniak minority rights. He helped prepare various shadow reports on the implementation of UN and Council of Europe conventions. He has worked on the preparation of applications to UN bodies for Montenegro and Serbia. Goran started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2004 and is today Director for Europe for this international organisation. Goran is a veteran of the LGBT movement in Serbia. He started as a member of Arkadija group in 1991 and worked for the community for decades. Since 2009, he is a key figure in the organisation of Belgrade Pride and is the coordinator of EuroPride 2022. Since 2020, he is the Director for Europe and MENA at Civil Rights Defenders and Deputy Global Director.




Alek Barovic is a Montenegrin political scientist, columnist and civil activist. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Montenegro. Currently, he is a master’s student in the field of International Humanitarian Action with a specialization in Armed Conflicts at University College Dublin and the University of Warsaw as an Erasmus Mundus fellow. He writes weekly columns for a leading Montenegrin media outlet Portal Analitika. He, also, is a member of the main board of the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro. His main interests are genocide studies, mass atrocities, armed conflicts and nationalism.




Dario Čepo is an Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law. He teaches introductory courses in sociology and political science. He got his PhD in comparative politics in 2010 at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Political Science. In 2013-2014 he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York City, and in 2022, a visiting fellow at the University of Salzburg, Austria. His major research interests are political institutions, democratic backsliding, and the political system of the European Union. He is the author of several scientific articles, a handbook Introduction to Political Science (co-authored with Slaven Ravlić), as well as one book, Political Institutions of the European Union.




Aulonë Kadriu is an editor at the Kosovo-based online magazine Kosovo 2.0 (K2.0). She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Prishtina and a graduate certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies from the University of Kansas. Prior to becoming an editor, Aulonë was K2.0’s Program Manager. During that time, she oversaw the design and implementation of K2.0’s educational programs and initiatives. She has been part of multiple organizations working with youth from rural areas –– promoting discussions and engagement in the fields of social justice, with a particular focus on gender, LGBTI and minority rights. Her work, activism and research interests circle around rigid masculinity, gender, war and nationalism, minority and LGBTI rights.




Ivana Stradner serves as an advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Barish Center for Media Integrity, where her research focuses on Russia’s information operations and cybersecurity, particularly Russia’s use of advanced forms of hybrid warfare and the threat they pose to the West. Ivana studies Russia’s security strategies and military doctrines to understand how Russia uses information operations for strategic communication. Given the divergence between the American and Russian militaries’ understandings of cybersecurity, her work examines both the psychological and technical aspects of Russian information security. Ivana also analyzes Russian influence in international organizations; she is currently focusing on UN efforts to regulate information security and the UN Cybercrime Treaty. In her writings, videos, and interviews, Ivana consistently champions a robust use of the international rule of law against revisionist powers (such as China and Russia). Because of her work to better understand Russian hybrid warfare in Eastern Europe, Ivana was asked to testify before the EU Parliament and brief various government officials. Before joining FDD, Ivana worked as a visiting scholar at Harvard University and a lecturer for a variety of universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.




Agon Maliqi is a policy analyst and civil society activist from Kosovo with a track record of working on topics related to democratization, development, and ethnic reconciliation in his home country and the broader Western Balkans. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Sbunker, an NGO based in Pristina that advocates for democratic values and reforms by engaging in the ideas space — namely, through its blog, policy analysis unit, and critical thinking program for young activists. Maliqi was recently a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC. He holds an MA in International Development from Duke University and a BA in Political Science from the American University in Bulgaria.


Event Video