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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Dr Maja Spanu is an Affiliated Lecturer in International Relations. She is the co-founder and co-convener of the Cambridge-based International Relations & History Working Group and regularly organises workshops and conferences. She also collaborates on the ERC project‘ Individualisation of War’ at the European University Institute, Italy.  

Before joining Cambridge Maja worked as a research fellow at the European University Institute while teaching at Sciences Po, France. Maja holds a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute, where she also obtained a Masters of Research in Political Science. She also holds a Master’s Double Degree (MRes and MA) from Sciences Po in International Relations and Political Science. Previous to that, Maja studied literature and humanities in Paris.

Areas of expertise

Maja's areas of expertise are International Relations; 20th-century international history; politics and history of the Balkan area; justice and global hierarchies; self-determination and state formation; human rights and minority rights; wars and war crimes; film; creativity in research; arts as means to foster socio-political change.

Maja speaks Italian, French (bilingual); English, Serbo-Croatian (fluent); Spanish (near-fluency); Portuguese (intermediate)


Maja is currently working on her first book project, offering a re-reading of the history of the principle of self-determination over the twentieth century.

She is also the recipient of an Arts and Humanities Impact Fund Grant for her new research and documentary project exploring the lives and experiences of children of individuals convicted of war crimes by international tribunals.

Maja is also the co-editor of a new major Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations planned to be published in 2020.

Maja concurrently writes academic articles, chapters and publishes online for public medias and blogs. She regularly undertakes policy collaborations on the Western Balkans.

She regularly organises workshops and events across the University and outside exploring international affairs through creativity and arts. She was the Co-founder and Executive Director of ARTIJ, an initiative bringing together Art with International Justice.

Within the framework of the Cambridge-Sciences Po agreement, she is the co-investigator of a joint-project with Dr. Hugo Meijer (Sciences Po) on research methods in International Relations and History.

Teaching and Supervisions


Maja supervises on ‘International Conflict, Order and Justice’ (POL2) and lectures on ‘International Organisations’ (POL3). She is Director of Studies at Homerton College for the History and Politics joint Honours degree.

Affiliated Lecturer in International Relations
Homerton College
Dr Maja  Spanu