Danilo Mandić

Danilo Mandić

Associate Senior Lecturer on Sociology
Danilo Mandić

Research Interests:  Social movements, nationalism, social theory, ethnic relations, civil war, and organized crime.

Danilo Mandić is Associate Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. A political sociologist and comparative historical analyst, he specializes in war, refugees, nationalism, separatism, ethnic relations, social movements, organized crime, post-colonial states, and post-conflict societies. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is Faculty Associate at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

His work (1) reconceptualizes today’s nation-state formation as a process driven by transnational mafias, which play a decisive, autonomous role in shaping institutions and dynamics of secession, ethnic mobilization, territorial consolidation, and state collapse; (2) contests conventional wisdom regarding military interventionism and displacement, the boundaries between forced and unforced migration, the effects of anti-smuggler repression on refugees, and how migrant-criminal relationships evolve into human trafficking; and (3) explores how gangsters, refugees, minority youth and other stigmatized people are formative social actors in contemporary nationalism, border politics, and collective violence.

Mandić’s first book, Gangsters and Other Statesmen: Mafias, Separatists and Torn States in a Globalized World received the Mirra Komarovsky Best Book Award (2022) from the Eastern Sociological Society, as well as the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section (2022). His second book, The Syrian Refugee Crisis: How Democracies and Autocracies Perpetrated Mass Displacement (2023), presents rare refugee data collected by an international research team he led into fieldwork in five countries in the Middle East and Europe. He co-edited Beyond Ethnicity: Changing Youth Values in Southeast Europe (2017).

His work and commentary have appeared in Time Magazine, the BBC, Vice News, Time Literary Supplement, and other media. He has conducted fieldwork across West Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Through his research and teaching, he seeks to direct undergraduates into work with refugees abroad. He is currently investigating IDPs from the war in Ukraine, during which he conducted on-the-ground research near the frontline.

Professor Mandić teaches courses on “Political Sociology,” “War, Revolution and Organized Crime,” “Refugees in Global Perspective,” “Propaganda and Extremism,” “Sports and Violence,” “Protest and the State,” and “Qualitative Methods in Social Science.” In 2022-3, he is teaching the Department’s flagship course, “Introduction to Sociology.” He is the recipient of seven Certificates of Excellence in Teaching and three Certificates of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek C. Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

Contact Information

604 William James Hall