My name is Aleksandar Matković, a researcher with a background in economic history and Marxism, coming from Serbia. This blog features excerpts from my research and politics.
I’ve been involved with several student and progressive movements in the Balkans for more than 10 years, and work at the Institute of Economics in Belgrade while leading an NGO called “ECO Societal Action”. The majority of my publications can be found here. You can message me at email@example.com.
My “credo” is that, without detailed empirical knowledge, coupled with theoretical reflection, there can be no progressive action. In line with that, when it comes to political struggles, I focus on the outsourcing of production and ecological imperialism into the Balkans, which is a key issue in the green transition that needs to be taught and addressed. Apart from that, I’m working on the history of Marxist workers’ education in Yugoslavia. My goal is to bridge the two fields and hopefully contribute to creating a model school for (ecological) education for the working class in the future — a very specific problem that just isn’t being addressed.
- As part of my research on Chinese investments and the outsourcing of pollution, I focus on collecting empirical data on the outsourcing of industrial production to Serbia and the region, as well as on the labor rights of the Chinese working class (in which I include workers from China, Vietnam, and Serbia, although there is evidence that several Chinese companies also have contracts with Indian labor agencies in Serbia). For these topics, I was accepted into the Labor & Migration Research Cluster of the “China, Law and Development” project, led by the University of Oxford’s China Center under the EU’s Horizon 2020. This project attempts to study the legal aspects of China’s globalization around the world. I am currently a research associate there, although I do not receive funding from the project.
- As part of my research on Marxist education, I am still conducting most of the research with my own funds as an extracurricular activity, but I have been offered the great opportunity to partially fund the archival study thanks to another Horizon 2022 project entitled “Towards a sustainable wellbeing economy: integrated policies and transformative indicators”, led by a consortium of European research institutions from 17 different countries with a base in Finland. My involvement in this project started through the Institute of Political Ecology in Zagreb, a Croatian green think tank (so to speak), which was responsible for organizing the Green Academy in Vis, an international gathering of environmental experts and activists that got me more seriously interested in ecological economics 10 years ago, on which I first began writing in 2018. The main task of this specific project is to develop a set of key indicators to measure the well-being of an economy beyond just GDP, and especially in the context of the green transition. My role is not that significant and consists in contributing to the theoretical framework and narrative by tracing how Yugoslav Marxist centers (mainly Slovenian) carried out ecological and economic projections of Yugoslavia’s development up to the year 2000 and more generally to reconstruct how degrowth debates took place in Yugoslavia around the year 1977. This is completely unexplored, there are no articles on the subject, and represents completely new territory that might offer some guidelines for the tasks which we face today.