Summer School: The Caucasus and the Balkans Between Conflict and Reconciliation

Deadline: 30 June 2015
Open to: peace and reconciliation workers, scholars with at least a first degree from History, Political and Social Science, Cultural and Religious Studies, Psychology, Peace and Conflict Studies, PhD candidates
Venue: 26 September – 4 October 2015, Jena and Berlin, Germany


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. 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 and the Balkans between Conflict and Reconciliation”. The ISS will take place between 26 September and 4 October 2015 partly at the University of Jena and partly in Berlin. 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.

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 3 October 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.


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.

How to apply?

The deadline for application is 30 June 2015. To apply please send your application via email to The application 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).

For more information please check the official call or contact Carolina Rehrmann (M.A.) at

Download PLAKAT Societies in transition 

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