The ISS will take place between September 27 and October 4, 2015 partly at the University of Jena and partly in Berlin. It 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). Dr. Gardner Feldman will be lecturing on “The EU, Germany and the Balkans: Motivations, Mechanisms and Measurements in the Promotion of a Path from Conflict to Reconciliation.”
Reaching back to the so-called Balkan Wars in 1912/1913, up to the transformation processes that began in the 1980s in the Soviet Union and Europe, the multi-ethnic and multi-religious areas between Europe and the Middle East have witnessed broad social and political upheavals. The collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent resurgent nationalist movements during the late 1980s and early 1990s led to ethno-political conflicts related to questions of religion and culture that severely affected and continue to affect both the Balkans and the Caucasus.
The historical backgrounds of the respective countries are reflected in a wide range of conflicts and transformation processes that open up diverse opportunities for reconciliation, including social, historical, religious, political, and psychological trauma/therapeutic approaches.
Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the so-called Iron Curtain we still observe continuing differences in the second-generation historical narratives that support revanchist behavioral patterns and retaliation between neighboring countries.
How can reconciliation and conflict resolution work as a facilitator between education and grassroots-initiatives? How can affected populations adopt more cooperative historical-awareness practices?
Similarities as well as significant differences between the two mentioned regions will receive attention at the International Summer School (ISS) 2015 “Societies in Transition. The Caucasus between Conflict and Reconciliation”.