(Lecture) A Cable Too Far: How Slovenia Seceded from the Yugoslav Electric Grid in 1970

OPENBORDERS & The Institute for Historical Studies, ZRS Koper

cordially invites you to a guest lecture by dr. Marko Miljković

titled “A Cable Too Far: How Slovenia Seceded from the Yugoslav Electric Grid in 1970

Thursday, 14 September 2023, at 11:00 a.m. CET

“Expectations have come true. Yesterday at noon, the Northern Adriatic was switched off from the Yugoslav electric power system and connected with the Italian system.” This was the rather grim opening comment of the editorial in the Yugoslav daily Politika, highlighting the problems in the electric power supply in Yugoslavia. In the background lies a story about a series of challenges in unifying the country’s electric power industry, which stretches from selfish national interests to simple economic calculations. It resulted in the general lack of willingness to establish the Yugoslav electric power network that would allow for sharing of electric energy between republics in a time of need but would also inaugurate the country as the central electric power hub in Europe, connecting the East and the West and overcoming the Cold War divisions while enjoying the political and economic benefits. Instead, internal divisions emerged as an impossible obstacle, resulting in Slovenia being connected to the Italian and Austrian electric grid and Serbia to Romanian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian. This presentation addresses these challenges and answers if the setting up of the electric connection between Ljubljana and Belgrade was indeed a cable too far.

Marko Miljković is a Research Associate at the Institute of Economic Sciences in Belgrade (Serbia), where he is the Head of the Department of Economic History and Theory. His doctoral dissertation Tito’s Proliferation Puzzle: The Yugoslav Nuclear Program, 1948-1970, analyzes the evolution of the Yugoslav program for the development of nuclear weapons and civilian technology from a political, scientific, and economic perspective, and it is currently being prepared as a book manuscript. His research interests focus on nuclear history and the impact of nuclear technology and technological change on the development of society in various contexts. In 2022, he presented his research at the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations as an expert on the “Re-writing the Constitutional History of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” project. He is currently developing a research topic Yugoslav Energy Wars: How Development of Energy Strategy Contributed to the Collapse of Yugoslavia, which focuses on the evolution of the electric energy sector in the Cold War Yugoslavia. He has published articles and book chapters in prestigious international journals and worked as a teaching assistant at the University Roma Tre and Central European University. During his career, he received several awards, including the most recent Best Dissertation Award at the Central European University. He is also a member of the Wilson Center’s Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP) since 2015.

 The lecture will be delivered in English.

The event will be broadcast live via Zoom. Click [here] to register for the online streaming.

Invitation / Vabilo