skip to content

Sociology Research


Dr Jana Bacevic works on social theory and the politics of knowledge production, and is a Research Associate in Critical Studies of Higher Education at the Faculty of Education's Culture, Politics and Global Justice research cluster. Prior to starting a PhD at the Department of Sociology, Jana was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Aarhus, Denmark (working on EU FP7-funded project 'UNIKE - Universities in the knowledge economy'), and lecturer at the Central European University in Budapest.

She has held visiting fellowships at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol; Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland and the Open Society Archives, Budapest. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Belgrade, 2008 and was OSI/FCO Chevening Fellow at the University of Oxford in 2007-8.

Research Interests

Jana’s research interests are in the domain of social and political theory, sociology of knowledge, epistemology and history of ideas, and political economy. Her main concern is how knowledge relates to human agency, and, in turn, how these relate to social structure. Her current work is at the intersection of sociology of knowledge/intellectuals, political sociology, and social theory. She maintains an interest in social movements and forms of political mobilisation, as well as policies and techniques of governance of knowledge and information. These are brought together in her writing and work on the relationship between knowledge and the constitution of political subjectivities, including in student, labour, and social movements around ownership and governance of knowledge - from tuition fees, through strikes, to open access and widening participation initiatives.

Research Projects

Jana is currently finishing her research project on the critique of neoliberalism in the academia. Drawing on Boltanski's sociology of critique, it investigates the epistemic and ontological foundations of critique, and concepts of agency, reflexivity and self-knowledge implied in it. Previously, she has written on the relationship between education policies and forms of political subjectivity, including class and identity.


Undergraduate Course Supervision:

SOC2: Social theory

ECON8: Philosophy of economy - Social ontology

Key Publications - Books

Bacevic, J. 2014. From Class to Identity: Politics of Education Reforms in Former Yugoslavia. Budapest: Central European University Press. 

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Bacevic, J. and Nokkala, T. 2018. Agenda setting and policy development, Higher Education. In: Teixeira P., Shin J. (eds) Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions. Springer, Dordrecht.

Bacevic, J. 2017. Beyond the Third Mission: Toward an Actor-Based Account of Universities’ Relationship with Society.  In: Universities in the Neoliberal Era (H. Ergül and S. Coşar, eds). Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp 21-39.

Bacevic, J. 2016. Under siege? Politics, contestation and agency beyond the ‘neoliberal university’. In: The Global University (R. Barnett and M. Peters, eds.). London: Peter Lang. 

Bacevic, J. 2016. Education, conflict and class reproduction in socialist Yugoslavia. In: Social Inequalities and Discontent in Yugoslav Socialism (R. Archer, I. Duda and P. Stubbs, eds.) Abingdon: Ashgate, pp.77-94. 

Bacevic, J. 2015. ‘They had sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll; we’ll have mini-jobs and loans to pay’: Transition, social change and student movements in the post-Yugoslav region. In: Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics after Yugoslavia. (S. Horvat and I. Stiks, eds). London: Verso, pp. 223-241. 

Bacevic, J. 2015. Divided Universities, Divided Societies? Higher Education, Elite Mobilisation, and Politics of Identity in the Former Yugoslavia. In: Universities and Elite Formation in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (F. Bieber and H. Heppner, eds). Berlin: LIT Verlag, pp. 267 – 284.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Bacevic, J., Muellerleile, C. (2017). The moral economy of open access. European Journal of Social Theory. DOI:

Bacevic, J. 2014. (Education for) work sets you free: ‘employability’ and higher education in former Yugoslavia and its successor states, European Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 1/2014, pp. 281-296. 

Nokkala, T. and J. Bacevic. 2014. University Autonomy, Agenda Setting and the Construction of Agency: The case of the European University Association in the European Higher Education Area, European Educational Research Journal, Vol. 13 no. 6, pp. 699-714. 

Bacevic, J. 2010. Masters or Servants? Power and Discourse in Serbian Higher Education Reform. Social Anthropology, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 43-56.

Key Publications - Other

Bacevic, J. 2018. A review of Couldry, N. and Hepp, A.: The mediated construction of reality. Communications, the European Journal of Communication Research.

Bacevic, J. 2017. “Solving the Democratic Problem.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6, no. 5 (2017): 50-52.

PhD Supervisor

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations


Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust, PhD scholarship (2015-2018)

OSI/FCO Chevening visiting scholarship, University of Oxford (2007-2008)

Visegrad Fellowship, Open Society Archives, Budapest (2012)

Job Title:
Affiliated Researcher, Selwyn College