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Damjan Matković, M.A.

Damjan Matković, M.A.

PhD Candidate in History (associated, Universität Regensburg, DFG)


Universität Regensburg
Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies
Landshuter Str. 4
93047 Regensburg

Doctoral Project

Informality and Corruption in Serbia 1817-1914

The long nineteenth century is extremly important for Serbia, which first gained autonomy and later on independance. Every society is built on rules, formal and informal. Informality is sometimes neutraly or even positively valued in a society unlike corrupt practices which are criticised. Modernity means a  growing number of formal rules which should regulate a society. and replace informal rules which become criticised as arbitary and clientilistic. Within shifts from informal to more formal society important question emerges- How can a society undergoing a process of formalization make sure that its members behave along the formalised norms instead of older patronage models?  Regime of Serbias first autonomous ruler  prince Miloš Obrenović was acompanied by informal practices and misuse of public position. Miloš himself had almost absolute power and used his position to severly enrich himself. Local authorities and officials also misused their power. After constitution from 1838 limited his power Miloš stepped down and legislation and regulation emerged. Seeing corrupt practices as breach of regulations for personal gain it is necesssary to follow the legal framework on state officials. I will follow regulations on the one  hand and informal and corrupt practices on the other. Corruption scandals are useful for analisis as miniatures of clashes between formal and informal practices.For the second half of the nineteenth century, the topic could be analised by researching corruption scandals. Corruption scandals as press events can show increased anti-corrupt aditude in a society and decreased tolerance for corrupt behaviour.  They can show dominant values in a society. However, the first half of the century should not be neglected.lt is useful to analise continuity and change of corrupt and informal practices in a longer time span.


Curriculum Vitae

  • Studied history at University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy. Graduated bachelor program on 3/9/2018 following the successful completion of the bachelor thesis: “World War II in comic books” for which a grade of 10 was awarded. Graduated  Master  programm on Contemporary History 23/9/2019 on topic ''Two environmental discourses- Goran Movement of Serbia and Robin Wood''for which a grade of 9 was awarded.
  • Started a PhD project Informality and Corruption in Serbia 1817-1914 at Uni-Regensburg under supervison from Klaus Buchenau and became a member of the interdisciplinary group researching corruption in Serbia and Croatia in last 200 years within the project From Informality to Corruption (1817-2018): Serbia and Croatia in Comparison.


Positions, Assignments and Membership

Member of the Study Group "Language, Knowledge, Practices"

Member of the Study Group "Representation, Narrations"