Janko Prunk

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Janko Prunk
Janko Prunk in 2011
Janko Prunk in 2011
Born 30 December 1942 (1942-12-30) (age 71)
Loka pri Zidanem Mostu, Slovenian Styria, Third Reich
Residence Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nationality Slovenian
Citizenship Slovenian
Occupation Historian, Politician
Years active 1966–present
Known for Modern history, Political philosophy, Christian socialism

Janko Prunk (About this sound pronunciation ) (born 30 December 1942) is a Slovenian historian of modern history. He has published articles and monographs on analytical politology, modern history, the genesis of modern political formations, and the history of social and political philosophy in Slovenia. He has also written on the history of political movements in Slovenia from the end of 19th century until World War II, especially about Slovene Christian socialism and the history of Slovenian national questions.


Prunk was born in the small settlement of Loka pri Zidanem Mostu (part of the municipality of Sevnica), in central Slovenia, which was then the German-occupied Slovenian Styria.

Prunk started going to primary school in his birthplace. After fourth grade, he shifted to the school in nearby Radeče. He continued his secondary education at Gymnasium in Celje. Graduating from history and sociology at the University of Ljubljana in 1966. He was recruited into Yugoslav People's Army in Sisak, Socialist Republic of Croatia in the years 1966/67. He obtained his Master's degree from University of Ljubljana in 1972. In 1976, he obtained his PhD with a thesis on the relationship between the Slovenian Christian Socialist movement and the Communist Party of Slovenia within the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People, which was still a controversial topic at that time. In 1984 and 1988, Prunk was awarded scholarships by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which enabled him to continue his studies in Cologne and Freiburg.

Later, he worked as a researcher at the University of Freiburg. From 1966 to 1995, he worked at the Institute for modern history in Ljubljana. Until his retirement in 2013 he worked as professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences[1] of the University of Ljubljana.

Prunk is a member of Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz, and a senior member of the Center for European Integration Studies in Bonn.


Prunk has been actively involved in politics. As an early admirer of Jože Pučnik, Prunk joined the Democratic Opposition of Slovenia after the democratization of Slovenia. He was an active member of the Slovenian Democratic Party (known as Slovenian Social Democratic Party between 1989 and 2003). Between 1992 and 1993, Prunk served as Minister for Slovenes outside Slovenia and National Minorities in Slovenia in the first coalition cabinet[2] of Janez Drnovšek.

After 1994, Prunk withdrew from politics for over a decade. Before the parliamentary elections of 2004, he campaigned for the Slovenian Democratic Party. In 2005, he was appointed by the Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, as president of the Slovene-Croatian Historical Commission,[3] formed by the Government of the two countries, to shed light on the history of the relations between them.[4] Between 2004 and 2008, he served as chairman of the Slovenian Democratic Party's internal Committee for Education Policies. He resigned in 2008 because of disagreements over the Government's policy favoring private universities. After the split with the party, he became very critical of the then Prime Minister Janez Janša, whom he accused of being a "liberal with an authoritative touch, who aspires at becoming a Slovenian Piłsudski".[5]

After the parliamentary elections of 2008, Prunk explained his disappointment with the Slovenian Democratic Party as a consequence of its neo-liberal turn. In Prunk's opinion, the party turned its back to the ideals of welfare state held by its founding father Jože Pučnik.[6] Prunk also criticised the charismatic type of leadership of the party's president Janez Janša, stating that the party would most probably collapse if Janša resigned.[6]


Janko Prunk has written over 400 specialized articles and books, since 1966. His book, A brief history of Slovenia: Historical background of the Republic of Slovenia,[7] is one of the most comprehensive works on modern Slovenian history.[8][9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Personal section". Faculty of Social Sciences. 
  2. ^ "Former Governments". Government of the Republic of Slovenia from 1992-1993. 
  3. ^ "Second session of the Slovenian-Croatian historical commission". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1 December 2005. 
  4. ^ "Slovensko-hrvaška zgodovinska komisija: Odnosi predvsem dobri" (in Slovene). Dnevnik Newspaper. 2 December 2005. 
  5. ^ Janko Prunk (16 September 2008). "Janez Janša in njegova stranka po štirih letih na oblasti: L'État, c'est moi!" (in Slovene). Delo Newspaper. 
  6. ^ a b "Janševa garnitura je lahko zadovoljna, da je izgubila" (in Slovene). Dnevnik Newspaper. 27 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Slovenian Historia" (in Finnish). Kirja-Aurora. 
  8. ^ "The creation of the Republic of Slovenia and its development". Republic of Slovenia - 15 Years of Slovenian State. 
  9. ^ "Personal bibliography list" (in Slovene). COBISS. 

External links[edit]

Official website

Political offices
Preceded by
Janez Dular
Minister for Slovenes outside Slovenia and for National Minorities in Slovenia
14 May 1992–25 January 1993
Succeeded by
Office abolished