2023 Summer School


June 27 to July 1, 2023
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 14th 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 M.A. program in Political Studies and International Relations. 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.

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

Students who complete the course requirements may transfer 4 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.

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

(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.




Dr. Catia C. Confortini

Course description

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.</p

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 armed conflict while also paying attention to femininities and masculinities? What can we find out when we ask feminist questions about soldiers and the militaries? How has feminist activism, exemplified in the adoption of the so-called Women, Peace & Security agenda at the United Nations and of the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, affected global security environments? The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine makes a gender analysis of the efficacy of this Treaty particularly urgent and salient, and the course will devote some time to this as well as other feminist interrogations of the current conflict. 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.




Dr. Igor Štiks

Course Description

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 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.




Dr. Olivera Simic

Course Description

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?




Dr. Sonja Stojanović Gajić

Course description

This course invites students to explore the relations between security, conflict and peace. More specifically, the course investigates how national security policy, security sector governance and security practices are used to undermine or re-strengthen liberal democracy and peace in Europe and Euroasia. The assumption behind the design of this course is that security governance is an inevitable target of autocratization, for three purposes: (a) guaranteeing impunity for those abusing power; (b) selective enforcement of rules by police and judiciary on the behalf of aspiring autocrats; and (c) legitimization of elite and governance through securitization. We will examine how security discourses and practices beyond deployment of violence are used within states or across state borders to manage political competition and conflicts. The course will critically look at the effects of security practices as they appear under the label of ‘liberal peace-building’, and ‘authoritarian conflict management as a form of wartime and post-conflict order’. Finally, it will critically investigate how they co-exist in the current global order.

The course’s empirical focus will center on security governance within both ‘old democracies’ and post-communist countries, as well as their export of ‘liberal peace’ and ‘illiberal peace’. The effects of security practices will be studied in the cases of the Western Balkans, Hungary, Turkey, and Central Asia.

The course will also feature a combination of reflective and research assignments (Country Case Studies) and two hands-on workshops: (a) how to research security policy and (b) how to engage in policy advisory work on security reforms. In this way, the students will be able to get an understanding of the complexity of security as a public good and of the political and practical challenges to the provision of human and national security while attending to the foundations of democracy.


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

All courses are taught 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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