The Balkans Semester for the Study of War and Peace is an interdisciplinary, humanities-based program centered around the themes of war and peace, conflict and reconciliation. The program will provide students a unique opportunity to study these themes while learning first-hand from people on both sides of recent wars and genocides who are grappling daily with problems of justice and forgiveness and with navigating a path toward sustainable peace.
Croatia, along with Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina will serve as the backdrop for the exploration of these issues and for asking questions such as: What is the essence of peace? What events and attitudes lead to war? How can a society recovering from war hope to establish lasting peace? What is a Christian response to war? And how might we formulate a distinctively Christian understanding of reconciliation?
"This program provides a unique platform for studying not only the specific cultural, religious, and political topics related to the Balkans, but also for developing broader concepts and models applicable to multicultural or conflict-ridden areas with diverse ethnic and religious populations, transitional political systems, and a variety of traditions.
Its richness is evident in the broad range of topics it covers as well as in the inclusion of a strong theoretical background. It holds the promise of bringing together some of the best experts on this area in a ‘hands on’ environment that will expose students to real-life issues and immerse them in the culture."
—Aida Vidan, Harvard University (Student programs coordinator, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Instructor for Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian; Co-chair, CES’s Southeastern Europe Study Group)