March 1, 1947 |
Dubrovnik, Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (now Croatia)
|Alma mater||Stanford University, Fordham University|
|Institutions||Stanford University, Yale University, Central European University|
Ivo Banac (Croatian pronunciation: [i:?o ba:nats]) (born March 1, 1947) is a Croatian historian, a long-time history professor at Yale University and was a politician of the former Liberal Party in Croatia. As of 2012 , Banac is a consultant for the Bosnian Institute.
Banac was born in Dubrovnik in 1947. In 1959 he emigrated to the United States with his mother, reuniting with his father who had escaped from Yugoslavia in 1947. After his father's death in a traffic accident a year later, Ivo lived with his mother in New York City, where he studied history at the Fordham University, graduating in 1969. In the same year Banac moved to California, where he obtained M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Stanford University. Although he was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, by his own account he was not attracted by the West Coast flower power movement of the late 1960s.
Banac worked at the Stanford University Department of History and Linguistics from 1972 to 1977, and then moved back to the East Coast to teach at Yale University. While at Yale, he earned his tenure, and was a two-time master of Pierson College.
During his stay in the United States, Banac regularly visited Yugoslavia. While visiting Zagreb in 1971, he met Vlado Gotovac and Franjo Tu?man, who would both become major Croatian political figures after the fall of communism. Banac remained in close contact with Gotovac until his death in 2000; on the other hand, he reportedly didn't think highly of Tu?man, describing him as a person who could not tolerate dissent. Nonetheless, Banac organized Tu?man's lecture at Yale University in 1990. In 1990, Banac was accepted as an associate member in the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Between 1994 and 1999 he was the director of the Institute on Southern Europe at the Central European University, Budapest. From 1990 onwards, Ivo Banac was also active in Croatian politics. He joined the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS) and became one of the strongest critics of Franjo Tu?man and his government, especially with regards to policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. He expressed his criticism in a column written for Feral Tribune. After the HSLS split in 1997, Banac joined the Liberal Party, keeping a critical distance towards the government even after LS became part of a new governing left-centre coalition in 2000.
He often accused Ivica Ra?an of the SDP of not doing enough to reverse the negative policies of Tu?man's era. Many were surprised to find Banac, who had a reputation of a maverick and independent intellectual, become the leader of the LS. It was even more surprising to see him take the post of Minister of Environmental Protection in 2003. He held that post for only a few months, until the SDP - the party with whom the LS was aligned - lost the election to a rejuvenated HDZ.
He was elected to the Croatian Parliament in the Croatian parliamentary election, 2003. After the elections, Banac advocated a merger of all liberal parties in Croatia. This policy was opposed by Zlatko Kramari? who orchestrated Banac's removal from the party leadership in 2004. Banac left the LS in February 2005 and was an independent representative in the Sabor for the rest of his term. He was publicly criticized for having allegedly mishandled public funds, by renting his personal apartment to himself as office space, as well as furnishing it with taxpayers money. Banac replied, to accusations that such actions constitute mishandling of public funds, that while "the data published in the media are correct, it is all a matter of interpretation, is the glass half full or half empty". Between 2007 and 2009, Banac was the President of the Croatian Helsinki Committee.
Minister of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning|
|Party political offices|
|President of the Liberal Party
|Non-profit organization positions|
|President of the Croatian Helsinki Committee
Ivan Zvonimir ?i?ak