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Catherine Samary

16 January 2016

Economist, specialist on Balkans and Eastern Europe. She has been active in several internationalist associations since the 1960s. Founding member of Espaces Marx. Member of the scientific council of the French association ATTAC. Researcher, member of AFEBalk (French  Association of Balkan Studies / Association française d’Etude sur les Balkans,

Catherine Samary, born in 1945, received her PhD in economics at the University of Paris X: Nanterre. Her thesis dealing with the different economic reforms in Titoist Yugoslavia was published as Le Marché contre l'autogestion, l'expérience Yougoslave, Paris, PubliSud/La Breche, 1988. Before retiring, she taught at the Université Paris-Dauphine, where she was also involved as researcher in the IRISSO (Inter-disciplinary Institute of Research in Social Sciences); she worked as an associate of the Institut d'Etudes Européennes at the Université Paris 8, where she lectured on eastward enlargement of the European Union.

She is a regular Fellow of the IIRE, Member of the AfeBALK (Association française d’études sur les Balkans) / French Association of Research on the Balkans, and member of the Scientific Council of its Review Balkanologie.

Her scientific research focuses on:

  1. theoretical and practical questions of socialism; planning, market, relationship of property and different forms of democracy; emancipation, ownership and citizenship; secularism, emancipation and religion;

  2. comparative analysis of the so-called socialist experiences, their reforms and crises. In particular, the Yugoslav crisis: internal/external factors; transformation of state, territory, nations and ownership;

  3. globalisation and the capitalist restoration - comparative aspects, theoretical questions; eastward enlargement of the European Union and of NATO.

  4. She is a frequent contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique and was involved in the board editing the 2006 and 2009 issues of the Atlas produced by Le Monde Diplomatique.

Her website is at

Selected publications:

Le Marche contre l'autogestion, Paris, PubliSud/La Breche, 1988.

"Plan, market and democracy: the experience of the so-called socialist countries", Amsterdam, International Institute for Research and Education, notebook no. 7/8, 1988.

Yugoslavia Dismembered (trans. Peter Drucker), New York, Monthly Review Press, 1995.

Most recent book: Yougoslavie: de la décomposition aux enjeux européens, Paris, Editions du Cygne, 2008.

She contributed a chapter on Ernest Mandel's concept of socialism ("Mandel et les problèmes de la transition au socialisme") to Gilbert Achcar's collection The Legacy of Ernest Mandel (London, Verso, 1999). This can be found in French and English on her website or that of Europe solidaire sans frontières (

Latest publication: Decolonial Communism, Democracy & the Commons. (eds. Catherine Samary & Fred Leplat). London/Amsterdam, Merlin Press & IIRE.

Co-editor of the last issue of the review Balkanologie, "For a socio-historical approach of collective actions in the Balkans",  Vol 2 2020,

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