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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Identity, Memory and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

CONF 695/385             3 Credits             $3,890            

May 28-June 5, 2016


SPACE LIMITED – APPLY NOW by April 15, 2016

Post-conflict reconstruction is not about returning to some previous “stability,” which may have brought about conflict in the first place, but about societal change, which enables conditions for sustainable peace.  The aim of this course is to understand not only how a contentious past and historical memories and narratives impact the ways in which post-conflict societies function, but also to look into various social practices and initiatives of counteracting the negative effects of conflict through justice, good governance, education and art. Specifically, we will explore strategies geared towards social transformation in Bosnia and Herzegovina twenty years after the conflict in 1990s. We will visit Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka to learn about narratives of different ethnic communities and get a comprehensive outlook of the current situation. The course will also focus on broader implications of Bosnian case for other post-conflict societies and use a comparative lens to illuminate the opportunities and challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. Last but not least, we will learn how post-conflict reconstruction processes can contribute to building more equitable, just and peaceful societies.

Course Topics

  • Post-conflict reconstruction and state fragility
  • Memory production and its impact on communities
  • Nationalism and identity
  • Justice in the aftermath of war
  • Trauma and healing
  • Gender in post-conflict BiH
  • Education for sustainable peace
  • Trends, initiatives and solutions for conflict resilient societies

During our stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we will engage in conversations with organizations, institutions, and individuals, such as the following:

  • Youth Initiative for Human Rights
  • Humanitarian Law Centre, Sarajevo
  • Post-conflict Research Center
  • The United Nations
  • Balkan Transitional Justice
  • Nansen Dialogue
  • Peace Network
  • Memorial Center Srebrenica and Potocari
  • Youth Cultural Centre Abrasevic, Mostar
  • Key scholars and practitioners working on dealing with the past and reconciliation in the Balkans

Course structure: The course will take place during the summer of 2016. Students will spend 8 days in Bosnia and Herzegovina in addition to preparatory and follow-up meetings in the US. Each day will be structured as three hours of class time with the rest of the day and evening spent in field experience and discussions or interviews with scholars and practitioners. We will be studying as well as traveling in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Eligibility: This course is open to all Mason and non-Mason bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. students as a 3-credit course, and to non-students as a professional development seminar.  

Program Fee: The course fee of $3,890 covers 3 credits, hotel rooms for 8 nights, 2 meals per day, in-country ground transportation, cultural excursions, entrance fees, and course trainers’ and speakers’ costs.  It does not include airfare.


The course instructor, Dr. Borislava Manojlovic, is an Adjunct Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University. Her research focuses on history education, dealing with the past, memory, cultural diversity, forgiveness and reconciliation. As a conflict resolution practitioner, she has worked for 7 years with the UN and the OSCE peacekeeping missions in Croatia and Kosovo.

 Questions? Please email Michelle Everson at