Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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DPPG 8575

Reconciliation in Balkans

To apply see Carolyn Meyer.

The territory of the fractured former state of Yugoslavia will be the site for this 2 or 4 credit hour course offered by Professor Black over Spring Break, March 17-25, 2018. In addition to the 9 days onsite in Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia, plus 2 days for arrival and departure*, the course will also comprise several pre-and post-travel meetings on campus, including a final presentation of findings for the campus and local communities.

For a visitor in a relatively stable and peaceful Yugoslavia as I was in the seventies and eighties, a return in the nineties was shocking and scarcely believable. The shards of what had been the multinational state of Yugoslavia were strewn with displaced communities and broken families. Many individuals and couples were left wondering who they were in regions where ethnic identify was a matter of life and death. The Balkans had come to be identified with phrases resurrected or newly introduced into the vocabulary of large-scale conflict – phrases like ethnic cleansing, ancient hatreds, . . . rape, and crimes against humanity.

To be sure, the reign of Tito, rising out of the ruble of World War II engaged in a balancing act between East and West, had its elements of authoritarianism. But the essential theme of his rule was the cultivation of unity among the various republics, religions, and language groups. Statesmanship called for consolidating resources in order to serve the basic needs of all sectors while security for the state and his government required the armaments and armies to maintain order.

The course itself will be limited to 15 students. Enrollment for one credit or auditing may also be possible, but only after full-credit students have been admitted. In numbers dependent on accommodations available as booking time approaches, alumni will also be welcome as well as members of the MIIS faculty or staff. The course will be open to all MIIS schools and programs. There are no prerequisites, but priority is given to students from the DPP (IPD & MPA) program and to students who have prior immersive study or experience in the cultivation of development, human rights, or conflict resolution.
Full participation in scheduled events onsite and on campus is expected. Along with the presentations to take place toward the end of spring term, the course “deliverables” may take any of several forms but must represent a serious undertaking with respect to research and analysis. Students are urged, in particular, to make good use of the opportunities to engage in primary research – in this case, to draw upon interviews, lectures, and discussions onsite. It is assumed that individual students will have somewhat differing research interests, but all will be expected to contemplate and address in their projects topics relating to: the causes of conflict and means of prevention; the processes of peace-making and peace-building; the reconciliation of adversaries and the reweaving of social fabric; and/or the means and meanings of implanting a sustainable peace.

Special arrangements will be made for students for whom class schedules might necessitate arrivals a day late or departures a day early.

Our co-sponsoring organization will be Altravistas, an NGO having considerable experience in the Balkans and a deep commitment to peace-building.

Cost estimates for individual accommodations and travel onsite in the Balkans, assuming double rooms and up to 15 students, amount to $2875; however the price is expected to drop as we anticipate 20 or more travelers. A syllabus with a comprehensive itinerary and a suggested reading list will be posted soon. As the list of prospective participants grows, we will pass along cost reassessment updates and practical travel tips.

Development Practice & Policy
Development Practice & Policy
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled:


Spring 2018 - MIIS

DPPG8575A-S18 Lecture (Black)