2019 Summer School



June 23rd to June 30th, 2019
Center for Comparative Conflict Studies (CFCCS) at the Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK),
Singidunum University, Belgrade


The Center for Comparative Conflict Studies (CFCCS) at the Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK), Singidunum University invites you to apply for the 10th International Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies. The 2019 Summer School will take place at the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade, from June 23rd - 30th, 2019.

International Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies is part of the Politics department at FMK and the MA program in Critical Political Studies. It provides a learning opportunity for students interested in the study and analysis of societies in and post-conflict. Interdisciplinary in its nature, drawing from the fields of Peace and Conflict Studies, History, Anthropology, Education, Law, Political Sciences and International Relations, the International 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.

Language of instruction for all courses is English

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

(Applicants can attend only one course from this list)




Prof. Marie Breen-Smyth

Course description

This course will examine the classification of violence; its forms and motivations; governance and regulation of violence; and its physical, psychological and political effects and uses. It will address questions such as: whether all violence can be considered political; the changing social construction of violence; how a context of violence tends to bifurcate thinking and ways of knowing; how violence becomes enculturated; and whether it can be seen as a form of communication. It considers individual and collective state and non-state violent actors; normative and legal definitions and contexts of violence; and how violence is legitimized or de-legitimized. The effects of violence are considered in historical perspective, the effects of war on populations, the aftermath of political violence for combatants, the changing understandings of the impact of violence on individuals, the use of suffering and the politics of victimhood and contemporary understandings of trauma.


Course Structure

  • Theoretical introduction to violence, its definition, causes, forms, prevalence, trends and contexts
  • An examination of violence in systems of subordination, namely race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; and socio-economic inequality and class.
  • Methods and politics of casualty counting
  • Military training, learning to kill, veterans and former combatants
  • Violence, the uses of suffering and the politics of victimhood
  • The concept of trauma and the regulation of suffering

Case studies may include

  • Violence and its proponents: militarism
  • Legitimizing and delegitimizing violence; the case of ‘terrorism’
  • All topics will be illustrated by practical examples drawn from research and experience in the US, UK, Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, Pakistan and India, South and West Africa and any other societies contributed by students.



Causes and Consequences of Conflict and Intervention: Will Lessons Ever Be Learned?

Dr. Maxine David

Course Description

In studying conflicts, we see quickly that no matter their particularities and specificities, there are common themes and threads, why then do they continue not only to arise but to carry on for so many years? For many, the answer lies in the nature of the international system and its fundamental organising principle, that of state sovereignty, whereby states are considered to have authority over a defined and internationally recognised territory, protected from external intervening forces. As with so many rights and principles, it was never intended that sovereignty be unconstrained. In 2005, in reaffirmation of this idea of “constrained sovereignty” but also as a response to successive, sometimes illegitimate and/or illegal interventions into the sovereign affairs of states, the United Nations General Assembly 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 a military intervention when they fail to do so. However, less than 15 years after R2P, circumstances are suggestive of a limited and certainly wavering commitment to the principle of rights protection as the larger and longer scale consequences of intervention have been revealed.

In this course, students will be introduced to the underpinning concepts and competing understandings of (non-)intervention in situations of conflict. Students will learn to identify and deliver a critical analysis of those factors that shape conflict and international, regional and national responses to it. Emphasis is placed on the application of concepts and theories to real-life scenarios, examining a combination of historical and ongoing cases that offer insights for us as analysts.

Course themes and Case Studies

Throughout the course, students will be asked to consider the origins of conflict as well as the conditions under and means through which it can be ended. By examining at least four different cases, the course aims to help students understand the arguments for and against a military intervention, the debate about who should undertake such an intervention and the authority and legitimacy under which it should be done. Four core themes in the study of Intervention will therefore sit at the heart of our studies: Sovereignty, Legitimacy, Legality, Human Rights. The case studies will comprise: Uganda-Tanzania War 1978-79; the former Yugoslavia 1991-99; Darfur 2003-?; Syria: 2011-?



Memory and Conflict: Remembering and Forgetting in Divided Societies

Dr. Orli Fridman

Course Description

This course invites students to explore the study of conflict analysis and conflict transformation through a journey in the field of social memory studies. The course will focus on the role of memory politics in peace and conflict studies.  By doing so, the course will allow students to delve into the analysis of internal dynamics of societies in or after conflict and discuss the ways in which they negotiate their pasts, presents and futures in the aftermath of war, conflict, repression, dictatorship, genocide and mass atrocities.

The course will explore dynamics and frameworks enabling the social organization of memory, and modes in which entire communities (and not only individuals) preserve, remember or forget the past, commemorate it, deny or obliterate it.  Finally, the course will highlight practices related to memory activism in spaces of mnemonic conflicts over the narratives and representations of the past.

In order to do so, students will be introduced to some theoretical frameworks in social memory studies and in conflict studies. Students will then apply this theoretical knowledge to a number of case studies, allowing them to further investigate the role of memory and memory activism in conflict analysis, and think comparatively about processes in conflict and post-conflict transformation.


Course Structure

  • Theoretical introduction to memory politics, conflict analysis and Conflict Transformation;
  • Collective Memory and National Calendars: collective memory, community memory, social organization of national memory, commemorative events, memory laws;
  • Memory activism in and after conflict.

Case studies may include

  • Revisiting 1948: Mnemonic Socializations & Memory Activism among Israelis & Palestinians;
  • Remembering the Wars of the 1990s? From Anti-War Activism to Memory Activism in Serbia.



Religion and Conflict: The Balkans’ Explorations vs. Explorations of the Balkans

Dr. Dino Abazović

Course Description and Objectives

This course will explore the processes of how political and ethnic conflict can become “religious”, on the one hand, and how religion can itself generate conflict, on the other. During the course, students will learn about the nature of conflict in general and specifically about religious conflict. The course inquires into various interactions between religious and ethno-national identity, with special attention paid to inter-relations among different religions in the Balkans. The relationship between religion and ethnicity, politicized aspects of religious conflicts, and the place of religion in relation to questions of nationalism and hegemony will also be explored during the course.

It will begin with an examination of the complexities of conflict and related academic theories of conflict and religion, as well as the nature of the violence which often follows conflict. Students will gain an understanding of the role of religious communities (Jewish and Islamic) and churches (Catholic and Orthodox) in Balkans at the end of 20th and beginning of 21st century, as well as during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991-1995).

In addition, students will be able to “unpack” different religious interpretations of sacred texts, understanding how these texts can be the foundation for either violence or peace.

Finally, the course will offer some solutions – how religion and its spirituality, theologies, and methodologies can be used in the process of conflict transformation and peace-building. This will be observed from Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives.



Our courses are offered to graduate students, advanced undergraduate students and professionals working in related fields.

All courses are in English.

 For all questions and information please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



  • Karadjordjeva 65
    11000 Belgrade, Serbia


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