Zvonimir Baletić, Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
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Born on 26 January 1936 in Kljenak (Vrgorac municipality), Croatia. Elementary education started at the refugee camp in El-Shatt, Egypt; ended in Dubrovnik. Concluded secondary education in Split. Enrolled the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, in 1954. Graduated in January 1959. In the meantime, received a scholarship from the French Government, which enabled him to spend one year of study at the Université de Strasbourg, during which time he passed the exam in the French language and civilisation.
On 1st May 1960, Z. Baletić became teaching assistant at the Chair of Political Economy of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. In the following year, he started working as associate at the Institute of Agriculture in Zagreb; soon afterwards, he went on a study visit to London, where he prepared his doctoral dissertation at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and passed the Lower Cambridge English exam. He received his doctoral degree in economics from the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb in March 1964. In the same year, he became assistant professor (on a part-time basis) at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb; he was furthermore elected Director of the Institute of Agriculture. In 1965, he received a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for the University of Chicago, USA; there, mentored by the Nobel Laureate Theodore W. Schultz, he researched the topic “Agriculture in the Economic Development”.
Upon return from the USA, Z. Baletić became assistant professor of Political Economy at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, and in 1968, he was elected associate professor. Due to being politically actively engaged in the Croatian Spring movement, he was forbidden to work at the Faculty and teach at the University; he was furthermore forbidden to appear in the public media. In November 1974, he started working at The Institute of Economics, Zagreb as research fellow, and in 1976, he became senior research scientist; at the Institute, he is head researcher and project leader of a number of scientific projects, and participates in numerous national and international symposia. In 1982, Z. Baletić was elected member of the Committee for Regional Development within the framework of the Long-term Stabilisation Programme of the Executive Council of Yugoslavia. In the late 1980s, in addition to working at the Institute, he became engaged at the international level, particularly in the formation of the European Movement Croatia and the introduction of the multi-party system in Croatia.
In 1990, Z. Baletić was invited to return to the Faculty of Political Science in the capacity of full professor; he accepted, keeping however the position of senior research scientist at The Institute of Economics. He teaches in the postgraduate programmes at the Faculty of Political Science and the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb; further, he mentors many doctoral and masters students and is a member of many doctoral and masters degree committees. When the Homeland War broke out in Croatia at the beginning of August 1991, he entered the Croatian Government of Democratic Unity as Minister without portfolio for missions and relations with UNPROFOR. He stayed in the Government of the Republic of Croatia until February 1993, when he was elected Director of The Institute of Economics in Zagreb. In addition to maintaining the daily operation of the Institute and project leading, Z. Baletić endeavoured to initiate public discussions addressing the key issues regarding the long-term policy for the development of Croatia (privatisation, small business development, export orientation, monetary policy, reindustrialisation, indebtedness). He left the position of the Director of The Institute of Economics in October 1999, continuing however research and teaching activity, both at the Institute and at the University. At the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute, he was editor for the field of economics, and a member of the management for a while. He was further a member of the Judging Board of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts for awarding the Josip Juraj Strossmayer Prize. Collaborated in the operation of the Croatian Academy’s Scientific Council for Economic Research and the Croatian Economy, as well as its working group Law and Society.
Apart from collaborating with many Croatian and international journals, Z. Baletić has also – for many years – been a member of editorial boards of several journals (Naše teme, Politička misao, Rasprave o migracijama, Hrvatski gospodarski glasnik, Hrvatsko Sveučilište), and in particular Ekonomski pregled (the Economic Survey). He edited a number of books and publications, as well as translated several important theoretical economic works from English and French into Croatian. He was a member of the Scientific Section of the Yugoslav Association of Economists, the European Economic Association, and still is a member of the Croatian Economic Association, the Scientific Society of Economists and the Croatian Political Science Association. He was also collaborator of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development and the European Association for Small Business in St. Gallen. He is a member of the following organisations: Matica hrvatska, the Croatian Roman Club, the European Movement Croatia (Chairman 1993–1995); further, of the Executive Board of the European Movement International (1997–2000), the Management Board of the European Multicultural Foundation (London); moreover, of the international association New Rights of Man (Paris) and the Horizon 2000+ (Paris), as well as collaborator of the Jacques Maritain Institute (Rome).
Z. Baletić received the Mate Ujević Award of the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute for his Economic Lexicon. He was decorated with the Order of the Croatian Star with the Effigy of Blaž Lorković, and with the Homeland Gratitude Memorial Medal.
In May 2004, Z. Baletić was elected Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (full member at the Department of Social Sciences), whilst in May 2005, he was elected full member of the Parisian Académie Européene des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres. Between December 2005 and February 2007, he was a member of the National Council for Science of the Republic of Croatia. In June 2008, he became Chairman of the Scientific Council for Economic Research and the Croatian Economy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Foreign languages: English, French and Russian actively; uses also Polish and Italian.