Summer School: The Caucasus and the Balkans Between Conflict and Reconciliation_ddl 30.06.2015(call for papers)

The Summer School will be concerned with “Societies in Transition. The Caucasus and the Balkansbetween Conflict and Reconciliation” and take place from September 26 to October 4, 2015, in Jena and Berlin (Germany).

PhD candidates and scholars who hold a first degree in Theology, History, Social or Political Sciences, or Cultural and Religious Studies are invited to participate in our unique programme, which includes key lectures by well-known scholarly experts, special guests from the political sphere, workshops, and excursions.

Please see the Call for Papers and apply by June 30th 2015 via e-mail: [email protected]. Further information also at:  

Applications should include:

·       Letter of motivation

·       Short description of current research project (approx. 1 page)

·       CV (including contact information)

·       Copy of certificate of current degree

·       Publication list (if applicable)


Potential participants include scholars of related research fields (History, Political and Social Science, Cultural and Religious Studies, Psychology, Peace and Conflict Studies etc.) who hold a first degree and/or PhD candidates who wish to benefit for their thesis, Post-docs, and peace and reconciliation workers who wish to deepen their theoretical knowledge. The Summer School particularly addresses participants from the regions of the Caucasus and the Balkans.


Lodging and travel costs are covered by school’s sponsor, the Thuringian Ministry for Economic, Research and Digital Society, up to a maximum of EUR 300.

The event is organized by the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS) at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Prof. Martin Leiner), the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University (Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman), and the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University (Dr. Karina Korostelina).

Having an international and interdisciplinary focus, we benefit from the participation of renowned scholars, responsible interest groups, and mediating global players that aim at enhancing ethical principles of political leaders and developing alternative approaches regarding reconciliation efforts.

The Summer School will bring together 15 PhD/Postdocs and 7-8 experts (academics as well as practitioners from the grass-roots level working on conflict resolution and reconciliation studies on the areas in our focus).

Debates are expected to cover issues such as: How to deal with ethnic, religious, and national rights, claims of sovereignty, political repression, and collective or individual experiences of violence.

We are expecting special guests from the circle of the Kim Dae Jung Korean government (Nobel Peace Prize Winner for the so-called “Sunshine Policy”), working on comparable reunification and reconciliation policies in Germany/Korea.

Key lectures, held by well-known experts on Peace, Conflict Resolution, and Reconciliation Studies, will address the regions of Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia (South East Europe); Nagorno-Karabakh; Russia/Chechnya; Georgia/South Ossetia, and Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey (Caucasus/Middle East). They will refer to both the relevant past and the possibilities for a peaceful future in post-socialist Europe.

Parallel Workshops will focus on three exemplarily case studies to give insights into institutionalized work and pragmatic areas of application of reconciliation and conflict resolution. The workshops will provide insights into quantitative and qualitative methodologies and validation criteria of reconciliation studies and conflict resolution, e.g., Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, the role of the OSCE, third mediation parties, and dialogue building mechanisms (“interfaith dialogue”). 

The key lectures at the morning session (max. 45 minutes, plus 45 minutes discussion) will address the theoretical framework of conflict resolution and reconciliation strategies in post-socialist Europe. During the seminars, participants of the Summer School have the opportunity to deliver presentations (15 minutes) followed by discussion (15 minutes), delving into ethno-political conflicts across the respective countries while presenting possible strategies for conflict resolution and reconciliation policies.

The Summer School also includes a field trip to the Weimar Concentration Camp Buchenwald and a two-day trip to Berlin on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of German reunification on October 3, 1990. With these field trips the ISS wants to contextualize questions of conflict and reconciliation in relation to Germany’s memory policies reflecting its efforts of dealing critically with its own authoritarian past.