CEU Mourns Former CEU Professor of History Ivo Banac

July 2, 2020

The historian, politician and writer Ivo Banac has passed away at the age of 74. 

Professor Emeritus of Yale University, Banac was a former Minister of Environment and Physical Planning in the Government of the Republic of Croatia, President of the Liberal Party and Member of the Croatian Parliament. 

From 1975 to 1977, he was an assistant professor at Stanford and San Francisco State University. Moving to Yale, Banac rose through the ranks until reaching full professor of history, in 1988. 

In 1994 to 1999 he moved to Budapest, as a university professor at Central European University. During his time at CEU he managed the Institute for Southeast Europe. 

Banac is the author of numerous books, essays and articles such as The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics (1984), With Stalin Against Tito: Cominformist Splits in Yugoslav Communism (1988) and Croats and the Church: A Short History of Croatian Catholicism in Modernity (2013). 

He was the editor a number of academic journals including East European Politics and Societies, and a corresponding member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2004 Banac was awarded honorary citizenship of Sarajevo. 

For the past ten years, Banac led the Yale Summer School in Dubrovnik. 

Commenting on his passing, CEU Rector and President Michael Ignatieff said: “Ivo was a man of remarkable talent and energy; his work on exiles and democracy was original and insightful, and paved the way for others to follow in his footsteps. I once spent a memorable day with Banac in Sarajevo, on the 100th anniversary of the Archduke’s assassination. He was extremely wise, especially on that day.”