Marko Godart Prelec works on societies recovering from armed conflict or state failure. He is a specialist on southern and eastern Europe and an expert on the states of former Yugoslavia. Before joining SPP, Godart Prelec was executive director of the Balkans Group, a peacebuilding and statebuilding think tank based in Pristina, Kosovo. From 2008 to 2013 he was with International Crisis Group, directing its Balkans project, which focused on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia. He is the principal author of more than twenty reports and briefings, covering topics including constitutional reform, separatist threats, nationalism, post-conflict reconciliation, municipal government, regionalization, corruption and governance. He has also consulted for the UN Development Programme on conflict prevention and countering violent extremism.
Currently, he is interested in a question in development economics: why internationally driven reforms often have little effect in transitional societies and conversely, how these societies resist the therapies that could help them recover and grow. He is also interested in international criminal law as a policy instrument, and in the application of behavioral economic and psychological insights to public policy development.
From 1999 to 2008 he worked on transitional justice, first as a research officer in the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and then from 2005 as head of research at Bosnia's office for the prosecution of war crimes. In the latter post, he wrote Bosnia's first comprehensive survey of war crimes, which serves as the basis for the country's prosecution strategy. At ICTY, he was lead researcher in the trial of Slobodan Milošević and worked on several trials and appeals involving Croat perpetrators.
He studied history at Harvard College and received a Ph.D. in modern European history from Yale University in 1997 with a dissertation focused on extremist nationalism. From 1997 to 1999, he taught as an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities in the northeastern United States, including the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.