2021 ONLINE INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL IN COMPARATIVE CONFLICT STUDIES
June 21-26, 2021
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 is organizing the 12th International Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies.
The International Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies is part of the Politics department at the Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK) and the MA program in Critical Political Studies. The school 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 allows students to engage critically with each course’s themes, and 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 5 ECTS course credits to their home institution.*
*Please note, it is the student's responsibility to verify with your home institution that you are allowed to transfer ECTS credits.
(Applicants can attend only one course from this list)
Feminist Peace and Security Studies: The Gendered Continuum of Peace-War
This course focuses on the adjacent fields of Feminist Peace Studies and Feminist Security Studies, which explore issues of peace/ war/ conflict/ security from a variety of feminist perspectives. Scholars working in these overlapping, as well as complementary, fields ask questions about the gendered nature of (conceptions of) peace and war, both in terms of how gender norms shape peace and war as well as how these, in turn, reshape gender norms. The feminist scholars also consider gender relations as causal in militarization and war, making connections across the continuum of violence that spans peace-wartime.
To introduce student to insights from this feminist literature, the course focuses on four main areas: How have feminists challenged the meanings of key concepts such as peace and security? What happens when we study conflict while also paying attention to femininities and masculinities? What can we find out when we ask feminist questions about soldiers and militaries? How has feminist activism, exemplified in the adoption of the so-called women, peace & security agenda at the United Nations, affected global security environments? The course illustrates the theoretical discussion through practical examples taken from feminist research on violent conflicts, as well as their aftermaths, around the world (from Afghanistan to Liberia, from Guatemala to Israel, from Rwanda to India). In this course, students will also learn the tools to carry out their own analyses of peace and war from a feminist perspective.
RETHINKING PEACE EDUCATION: THE WORK OF IDENTITY AND CULTURE IN CONFLICT RIDDEN SOCIETIES
The course offers a critique of Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education, maintaining that one of the primary weaknesses of current bilingual and multicultural approaches to peace education is their failure to account for the primacy of the political framework of the nation state and the psychologized educational perspectives that guide their educational work. It does so by revealing the complex practices implemented, in educational contexts in areas of enduring conflict, while negotiating identity and culture.
The course presents critical theorizations and conceptualizations of identity, culture, conflict, and other foundational concepts derived from a long-term ethnographic study of the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel. These schools' main goal is to offer a new egalitarian, bilingual, multicultural educational option to facilitate the growth of youth who can acknowledge and respect "others" while maintaining loyalty to their respective identitarian and cultural traditions.
Change, it will be argued, will only occur after the Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education are abandoned, a step which entails critically reviewing present understandings of the individual, of identity and culture, and of the learning process.
In order to do this, we will first learn about the paradigms and conceptual frameworks which guide our understanding of conflict and multicultural/peace education as they develop in different conflictual, political and geographical contexts and identify a variety of approaches related to various dimensions of peace education. The course will familiarize participants with the complexities of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, with an emphasis on the present situation within its internationally recognized borders. The course will then critically examine sociological, psychological, and anthropological approaches to identity and culture and discuss matters relating to the place of culture and identity in the world of education in general and peace education in particular. Lastly, we will apply the concepts and theories learned to the analysis of data gathered in educational contexts confronting intractable conflicts such as the cases of Israel and Cyprus.
VIOLENCE, WAR AND TRAUMA
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.
- 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.
Citizenship in the 21st Century: Fragile Rights, Unequal Societies, Divided Cities, and Global Movements
How to define citizenship in our confusing and uncertain times? Is it based on the idea of membership, equality and participation only? Or exclusion, conflicts, wars, and our perception and construction of enemies might have a strong influence on how we perceive ourselves as citizens as well? What is our political community or do we necessarily have multiple identities? To whom do we owe loyalty, global humanity, nation-states, regional alliances, our ethnic and religious group? What happens when we cannot agree about the nature and institutions of our communities? Or when we descend on the streets and squares? For what do we fight? Global justice, climate, gender equality, national interests, or our cities and lifestyles?
Citizenship is a tool that can be used for different and opposing goals, from integration and re-unification to fragmentation, division and ethnic engineering. It could be classically understood as national citizenship, but also as European, ecological, sexual and urban. The study of modern citizenship, as theory, institution and practice, is necessary to understand how political communities are made, un-made and re-made in the 21st century.
The course will be dedicated to general theories of citizenship, contemporary debates on membership and identity, as well as to various practices of citizenship and collective action in Southeast Europe. We will discuss citizenship in the post-1989 Europe, in the West and in the former socialist East with a special focus on the post-socialist Balkans.
After examining legal and political uses and misuses of citizenship related to status and rights of individuals, we will further distinguish between active and activist citizenship as well as present and compare rising political and social movements across the globe and in this region.
INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION AND THE MYTH OF THE "INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY"
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, in the face of terrible conflicts, whether in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur or Syria, it has become common to make reference to the “international community” and the need for them to respond. Indeed, in 2005, the United Nations General Assembly voted to accept the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), charging states, the main components of the so-called international community, with the obligation to respond under circumstances of genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes. However, in the mere 15 years or so after R2P, circumstances are suggestive of a limited and certainly wavering commitment to the principle of rights protection. States such as China and Russia particularly have brought sovereignty rather than human rights firmly back to the centre of UN debate: more old world order than new. In a context of doubt about the future of US global leadership, in a context in which old divisions have re-surfaced and even older alliances are declining, questions must be asked about the international community, about whether it really exists and if so, in what form; and about its responsibilities to help civilian populations when their state will not or cannot. As the Syrian case has shown, while the more powerful states squabble and debate, while they deny their responsibility to protect others, the price is paid by other in thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of lives and in lost generations.
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 the “international community’s” 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, focusing particularly on the role of the so-called international community. 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-?
Justice after Mass Atrocities: Truth-seeking, Retribution, Reparation
What happens to societies after genocide and mass atrocities? How do survivors pick up their lives in the aftermath of mass killings and war crimes? Can one come to terms with mass atrocities committed against one's family and ethnic/racial group? Can one forgive and reconcile?
This course will introduce students to the field of transitional justice which is an interdisciplinary field of study focusing on processes of dealing with past human rights violations and the transition to more peaceful and democratic states. The course deals with questions that arise in countries emerging from armed conflict or from periods of authoritarian or repressive rule. It will focus on strategies available to societies in the aftermath of massive violations of human rights to re-establish the rule of law and build sustainable peace.
The course will introduce students to 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, Cambodia, Germany and Rwanda. The course will raise a series of thought-provoking questions such as how mass atrocities affect states and their neighbors? What lessons did the UN learn from its experiences in dealing with mass atrocities? What are the pros and cons of prosecuting individuals for mass atrocities? Can multi-million international courts bring justice to survivors of war crimes?
Our courses are offered to graduate students, advanced undergraduate students and professionals working in related fields.
All courses are in English.