Borjan earned  Bachelors degrees in Politics and History from Brandeis Univeristy and a Masters in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University Belfast before entering the Department of Government Politics in the fall of 2011.  His doctoral dissertation examined how and why ethnic group leaders change the type of nationalist rhetoric they use during armed conflict.  Specializing in the Balkans and the former Yugoslavia, he studied Bosnian government leaders' rhetoric during the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

His research revealed how patterns of wartime violence and the influence of external actors drove variation in these leaders'  use of more inclusive, civic nationalist claims to domestic and foreign audiences as opposed to more exclusive claims grounded in ethnic and religious nationalism.  In addition, he also researched the post-war political attitudes of internally-displaced persons in Bosnia, analyzing how the trauma of wartime displacement shaped their political views via enhanced religiosity.  He plans to develop his research on nationalism further in order to understand how societies can reinforce or promote civic national identity when this type of identity is weak or under threat.  Methodologically, he employs a mixed-methods approach, including both quantitative and qualitative text analysis as well as small N process tracing. 

Areas of Interest

  • Nationalist ideology and identity during armed conflict; civic, ethnic, and religious nationalism; wartime internal displacement; changes in religiosity during war; East European politics; text analysis


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Brandeis University
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Queen's University Belfast
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
GVPT459Q Nationalism: Past, Persistence, and Prospects Spring 2019 Syllabus

Research Topics

  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
Borjan's head
Chincoteague 4117
Government and Politics Department
bzic [at]