Tamara Pavasović Trošt is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Ljubljana. Her research employs qualitative and mixed research methods, and she has explored issues including ethnic identity and stereotypes, class, populism, and nationalism and sports. Dr. Trošt received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and is currently Associate Editor of UC Press’s journal Communist and Post-Communist Studies.

UC Press: Thank you for your contributions to Communist and Post-Communist Studies! What made you decide to join CPCS in an editorial role?

Communist and Post-Communist Studies Associate Editor Tamara Pavasović Trošt

TPT: Honestly, the invitation from Paul Goode, the new editor. I’ve worked with him before on issues of everyday nationalism and tremendously respect him as a scholar as well as very efficient and capable organizer, so I knew the job would be very well structured and done professionally. I had of course heard about the journal as one of the top “area” studies journals in the region so it seemed like a great opportunity.

UC Press: You’re located in Slovenia, and see a lot of manuscript submissions from Central Europe and the Balkans. Have you seen any distinctive patterns with how scholars in the region understand and approach post-communism?

TPT: I’ve seen what perhaps reflects patterns in which countries authors consider the post-communist context to be of relevance in explaining social, political and economic phenomena. We see more submissions from Central Asian countries, Poland, the Czech Republic etc, and much less from post-Yugoslav countries, for example. I think some of this might have to do with the “double transition” in the Balkans: the transition from communism on top of Yugoslavia’s disintegration, on which comparatively more is written. The scope of CPCS includes all research in which “post-communist remains analytically useful as a temporal or geographical frame,” which is absolutely the case in the Balkans, so I am hoping for more submissions focused on the relevance of the post-communist (analytically separate from the Yugoslav) context. 

UC Press: Any recent articles that you’d like to highlight for readers?

TPT:  One of the things I really love about CPCS is that it is one of the rare journals in which there really is no ideological leaning towards particular methodologies—there are purely qualitative and ethnographic studies alongside quantitative regression models on large cross-national samples. An excellent qualitative study of the use of self criticism that just came out recently is Self-Criticism in Post-Communist Times: The Polish Debate on the Democratic Transition in the Eastern European Context. An excellent large comparative quantitative study is Coronavirus Pandemic Response and Voter Choice: Evidence from Serbia and Croatia. It’s actually a “Research Note,” which is a great mode for scholars wanting to publish timely results of empirical work! For the journal broadly, Anti-Communism as Ideology: The Case of Contemporary Poland is in my opinion one of the more important articles published recently, as it looks at the various ideological functions of communism.

UC Press: What kind of articles would you like to see submitted to CPCS? Any advice you would give to scholars who might consider submitting to the journal?

TPT: Like I mentioned above, I’d definitely like to see more articles on the post-Yugoslav region that explicitly engage with the various implications of the four plus decades of communist rule: implications for contemporary gender, race, and class relations, for instance. We are slowly seeing more of this kind of research, and I hope scholars doing this kind of research consider submitting to CPCS.

As far as advice is concerned, I’d probably mention the need to make clear what a particular empirical study is a case of—why should we be interested in political humor in Poland or Slovenia, for example. We see many submissions of fascinating empirical studies focused on a particular post-communist country, but a frequent missing link is making more explicit how it relates to the post-communist context (or, for instance, differs from processes and outcomes in similar contexts). In other words, not just choosing CPCS because the case study is a post-communist country, but because there is a discussion of broader relevance to people studying post-communist contexts. 

UC Press: Thank you again for your contributions to CPCS, and best wishes for the coming year!

Related reading:

Communist & Post Communist Asia: A Q&A with CPCS Associate Editor Lawrence Markowitz

Elections, protest, social movements, contentious politics: a Q&A with CPCS Associate Editor Margarita Zavadskaya

Communist and Post-Communist Studies is an international, peer-reviewed scholarly journal featuring comparative research on current and historical developments in the communist and post-communist world. Post-communist states and societies encompass Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, for which the term “post-communist” remains analytically useful as a temporal or geographical frame. The journal broadly covers domestic politics and societies, foreign policy and international relations, ideology and identities, political economy, political and human geography, and law.