ZAGREB, April 1, 2019 – President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on Monday labelled as insinuations Jutarnji List daily’s claims that she is writing her doctoral dissertation on a topic already covered under the same mentor, calling them an attempt to politically discredit her and a grave insult to the scientific community, notably the Zagreb Faculty of Political Science (FPZ).
Asked by Hina to comment on the daily’s claims, the president said “the topic of my dissertation has passed the necessary verification procedure and it will be additionally verified at university level.” She added that the dissertation and her defence of it “will be available to the wider public for further analysis.”
Jutarnji List says in today’s edition that master of science Bernardka Prasnikar defended at Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences in 2014 a dissertation called “Concept of responsibility to protect and its use on the example of Libya” under the mentorship of Anton Grizold, and that Grabar-Kitarović’s doctoral dissertation is called “Responsibility to protect (R2P): Concepts, challenges, limits and lessons learned (Libya)” and that Grizold is her mentor.
In mid-March, the FPZ Academic Council endorsed a report by a commission which assessed the topic of the president’s dissertation. In order to become final, the report must be confirmed by the University of Zagreb Senate. Professor Grizold was on the commission.
A source close to the president says she read Prašnikar’s dissertation as well as others Prašnikar and Grizold wrote on that topic, and that Grabar-Kitarović’s dissertation looks at R2P from an entirely different angle.
The source recalls that the president studied and did research at Harvard, George Washington and Johns Hopkins universities, and that she would never smear her honour by plagiarising another person’s dissertation “because she is more than competent and capable of writing her own.”
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