2014 Summer School

2014 page photo



June 30 to July 7, 2014
Center for Comparative Conflict Studies at the Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK),

Singidunum University, Belgrade

The Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies provides a learning opportunity for students interested in study and analysis of societies in and post-conflict. Interdisciplinary in its nature, drawing from the fields of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, History, philosophy, sociology and International Relations, the Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies provides students with an interactive learning experience utilizing frontal lectures and class discussions focusing on comparative conflict analysis of different case studies.

Students who complete the course requirements may transfer the course credit to their home institution (5 ECTS).


This year we offer 4 courses:


Dr. Jelena Tošić

Course Description:

Eastern and South-Eastern Europe/the Balkans represent an ascending field of inquiry in social science. Due to the collapse of real-socialism, the violent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the on-going process of EU-Eastern Enlargement and related new patterns of migration, the number of contributions and research is continuously growing. Moreover, anthropological inquiries into eastern and southeastern fringes of Europe have in particular generated new and innovative ways of thinking about core concepts such as identity, hybridity, borders, diversity, violence, modernity, migration etc.

This course will thus provide students with the opportunity to re-assess both their knowledge about Southeastern Europe and about important concepts and research fields in anthropology and social science in general. Furthermore – due to its thematic focus on diversity, borders and migration – this course will be of special relevance for students interested in (post)-conflict dynamics in southeast Europe.

Additional consideration of our inquiry and in class discussions will be given to historical legacies and gender dynamics. Students will also be continuously encouraged to apply a comparative perspective. Course Structure:

The course will focus on the following thematic clusters:

  • Diversity/Identity/Multiculturalism
  • Borders/Borderlands
  • Migration



Dr. Olivera Simić

Course description:

Transitional justice is a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field of study focusing on processes dealing with past human rights violations and the transition to a more peaceful and democratic society.

This course deals with questions that arise in countries emerging from armed conflict or from periods of authoritarian or repressive rule. It focuses on strategies available to new democratic governments in the aftermath of a situation of massive violations of human rights. The course examines the evolution of transitional justice theory and practice, including truth commissions, trials and traditional practices, in such contexts as post-apartheid South Africa and post-genocide Bosnia and Rwanda. Issues discussed include the various types of justice, accountability, truth, reconciliation, material and symbolic reparations, and the challenges of balancing justice and peace. Drawing on film and literature, as well as accounts by victims and arguments by victim movements, the course will examine the main strategies that have emerged for an engagement with the past.

In this course we will examine the field of transitional justice through:

  • Theory: ‘Thinking Transitional Justice’ introduces core concepts and themes in a transitional justice scholarship.
  • Practice: ‘Practising Transitional Justice’ critically analysis the major legal and non-judicial strategies deployed by the transitional justice actors, such as truth and reconciliation commissions, amnesty, vetting and lustration.
  • Context: ‘Contextualising Transitional Justice’ focuses on the impact and effect of transitional justice mechanisms on social and symbolic repair, gender, memorialisation and reconciliation. We will consider the ways in which transitional justice can be used as a tool for restoring broken social relationships and reconciliation in various settings.

Course Structure:

  • Introducing key concepts in transitional justice studies: Trial, Truth Commissions, Vetting, Reparation
  • Legal Accountability and Rule of Law: Prosecutions and Trials From Nuremberg to The Hague
  • Truth Commissions and other forms of Truth-Seeking
  • Civil Society and Role of Arts in Transitional Justice
  • Public Memorials and Collective Memory
  • Designing a Transitional Justice Process

Case studies may include: South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Cambodia and Rwanda.



Dr. Jelisaveta Blagojević

Course Description:

Since the time when Serbia was one of the six republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ), the country has been through very difficult cultural, political and ideological challenges and changes. While the dominant socialist ideology in former Yugoslavia, organized around Tito’s idea of “brotherhood and unity”, helped to pacify and diminish differences between various ethnic and religious groups, Serbian society during the period of the Milošević regime has deployed different ideological patterns characterized by national pride, territorial integrity, and the policy of “all Serbs in one country” politics. These ideas were brought together under the banner of securing national and cultural identity, as well as territorial integrity.

In dominant political and ideological discourses, contemporary Serbian society is most often characterized as a society “in transition”, colloquially referred to as “Serbia after democratic changes”. In such discourses, everything in Serbia in the past 15 years is “in transition”: the justice system, the economy and culture, but also our lives, our freedoms and our rights. Our recent historical trans experience generally refers to the path from communism and socialism to capitalism and liberal democracy, recognized as synonymous with European Union (EU) integration. At the same time, while “transiting” from one ideology to another, Serbian society is carrying the heavy burden of recent historical events: wars, ethnic cleansing, isolation and the collapse of all institutions, among others.

Course themes:

The course will be organized around four concepts:

a) community; b) friend/enemy; c) minorities and d) popular culture.

The aim of this course is to understand the transition from the dominant Yugoslav ideology to what came after in Serbia through the analysis of changes in the discourses that organize the four concepts above. Discussion will focus on Serbia as well as on comparisons with the other successor states of the former Yugoslavia.

Course Structure:

  • Background and introduction to the breakup of Yugoslavia
  • Post-Milosevic Serbia
  • Serbia in transition: community
  • Serbia in transition: concepts of friend/enemy
  • Serbia in transition: minorities
  • Serbia in transition: popular culture



Dr. Maxine David

Course Description:

The fundamental organising principle in the international system has long been one of state sovereignty. Thus, states are considered to have authority over a defined and internationally recognised territory, protected from external intervening forces. In 1991, George Bush Senior spoke of a ‘New World Order’, one in which the United Nations would now be free to fulfil its founders’ visions. Since then, the principle of non-intervention has been challenged by successive interventions into the sovereign affairs of states by international organisations, notably the United Nations and NATO, as well as some states. As if in acceptance of this new world order in which human rights protection could – would – be privileged over traditional understandings of sovereignty, in 2005 the international “community” adopted the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P has since been widely debated by reason of the emphasis it places on achieving justice for people, placing obligations on states to protect the wellbeing of their citizens and to face the possibility of an outside intervention when they fail to do so. However, events since 2005, not least the conflict in Syria, are suggestive of a limited commitment to the principle of rights protection and therefore to the vision of a New World Order.

In this course, students will be introduced to the underpinning concepts and competing understandings of intervention in situations of conflict, state collapse, humanitarian and human rights emergencies. Students will learn to identify and deliver a critical analysis of those factors that shape international intervention. Emphasis is then placed on the application of concepts and theories to real-life scenarios, examining a few of the case studies that have been particularly significant in respect of developing international-level responses to crises. Ultimately, students will be required to deliver well-evidenced verdicts on whether the founding visions of the United Nations have been fulfilled and whether order must always come at the expense of justice.

Course themes:

Throughout the course, students will be asked to consider when and how real moments of change occur and to evaluate the extent to which we see more continuity than change in the international system. Four core themes in the study of Intervention will sit at the heart of our studies: Sovereignty, Legitimacy, Legality, Human Rights. The course aims to help students understand the arguments for and against intervention: what motivates actors to intervene, what constrains them, the inherent costs and dangers of their choices. Through study of a number of interventions, students will debate the choices available to actors in order to achieve an understanding of the context in which difficult decisions are made and the consequences of those decisions.



  • Karadjordjeva 65
    11000 Belgrade, Serbia


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