Mike Rossi


Actual Position

Michael Rossi

Content: Michael Rossi

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Welcome to my webpage! I currently serve as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University - New Brunswick, and have previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at The College of New Jersey, and Visiting Instructor in the Department of Political Science and Economics at Rowan University.



Being trained in both Political Science and History, I bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the social sciences, both in the classes I teach and the research I conduct.


My dissertation examines the relationship between democratic development and culture with an emphasis on the role of state-sponsored memory in facilitating political legitimization and maintaining social order in modern Serbia. Initial fieldwork was conducted in Belgrade between January and June 2008 via a Title VIII Fellowship, where I collected data from opinion polls conducted in Serbia between 1990 and 2008, political campaign literature publicly distributed during the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, articles in daily newspapers and weekly journals, historical sources, and personal interviews. My findings conclude that the size and scope of a socio-political community is shaped by how state actors appropriate historical narratives of collective identity that account for membership across ethnic and/or confessional boundaries. Narratives that are inclusive and identify all as equal citizens increase the chances for democratic consolidation and the growth of an economic middle class. Conversely, narratives of identity that are ethnocentric and purposefully exclude other communities from the political sphere not only weaken political participation, but also retard the progress of democratic consolidation and community development.

Portions of my dissertation, which is currently being reworked into a manuscript for publication tentatively titled “Serbia Rebranded: The Processes of Democratization and 'Cultural Audit' for European (Re)Integration”, have been presented as scholarly papers at the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) conference at Columbia University. A paper on the importance of constructing inclusive and pro-European historical narratives for Serbia's newly consolidated democratic government was published in Nationalities Papers in November 2012.


I received my B.A. in both subjects in 1999 from The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College), and my PhD in Political Science in Political Science in 2009 from Rutgers University. Within that time, I served as a Teaching Instructor and Adjunct Instructor at Rutgers University, and Preceptor at Princeton University in Spring 2004.

My first full-time teaching appointment was, coincidentally, in the Department of Political Science at The College of New Jersey from 2010 to 2012 as a Visiting Assistant Professor, where in addition to teaching courses on European politics and International Relations, I developed a new course on the European Union, and two tutorials on Comparative Political Culture and Theories of Democratic Transitions.

My position at Rowan involved teaching introductory courses on Comparative Politics and International Relations, as well as teaching an interdisciplinary course on Contemporary World Problems.


At Rutgers, I offer regular introductory courses on Comparative Politics and International Relations, and upper level courses on Politics and Culture and European Politics. Additionally, I am involved in building the Department's offering of online courses through the use of a number of platforms and software services.

I am also currently involved in a self-managed project of digitally recording my lectures for future plans for online courses, as well as providing a sampling of my pedagogy to the wider academic community. Completed lectures are currently being uploaded to my Facebook page, and will soon be transferred to a dedicated YouTube channel.

Area of interest

My specialties and areas of interest reside in the studies of Comparative Politics and International Relations, specifically in the development of politics and societies of Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. A second area of interest is in theories and approaches to democratic transition, or more generally transition from authoritarian rule.

Most of my research has been on the development of modern state systems in Southeastern Europe, with a particular emphasis on the countries of the former Yugoslavia. This work has also carried its way over to studies of EU integration and the effect exogenous forces have on exerting influence and pressure on national governments to alter their policies and, if possible, political cultures for eventual membership.

For more information on specific works, see my Current Projects section.

Further Research

In addition to theories of democratic transition, I also work within the studies of political culture, comparative historical analysis, nationalism and collective identity, and challenges to conventional understandings of sovereignty by both international organizations and the rise in the phenomenon of quasi-sovereign entities that are neither states in their own right, nor autonomous entities of existing states. These studies will serve as the basis of a number of additional projects I am undertaking either alone or as part of a collaborative effort.

This website will be under continuous construction and frequently updated. Please check back for new information and announcements. You are welcome to contact me.


©Michael Rossi – http://michael-rossi.demokratio.info