Mirovna akademija – 2021 International Summer Course in Critical Peace Studies

The Peace Academy (Sarajevo) in partnership with the University of Manchester welcomes applications from practitioners looking for comparative and rigorous reflection and academics interested in a grounded local perspective on divided societies. This course is led by practitioner academics in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands and Colombia and covers the practical wisdom of peacebuilders, peace practice and gender, peace at work, building peace in Western Europe and the peacebuilding complexities of the protracted conflict in Colombia online from July 26 until September 3.

Despite the advent of the ‘local turn’ within peace research, the understanding of peacebuilding by practitioners remains marginal in the literature as a conceptual focus. The course begins with a module that builds upon and explores ‘epistemologies of practice’ in peacebuilding and the value of practical wisdom gained and applied by practitioners with local and lived experience of divided societies, based on research and case studies from Northern Ireland. The following module explores the intersection of gender with peacebuilding practices, based on the experiences of women and their organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The third module goes outside the settings where ‘peacebuilding’ is usually understood to happen and into the workplace, exploring the approaches of different generations toward post-war ethnic identities in BiH. One lecture during the module will elaborate on the concept of ‘counter-peace’ to map out the formal and informal structures and processes that resist what is commonly described as an actual peace process. The course will keep its locally-grounded focus through a virtual excursion of the Bosnian city of Sanski Most through the eyes of peacebuilding practitioners working with youth and religious actors. The fifth module will explore the relevance of engaging in peacebuilding in Western European societies and critically engage with the notions of peace, peacebuilding, ‘the local’ and ‘at home’ and with questions around the ‘transferability’ of peacebuilding insights and methodologies. The final module considers the case of Colombia and how the long history of armed conflict and resulting complexity of actors and conflict factors influence peacebuilding frameworks.

This course is distinctive because it is organized in cooperation between the Peace Academy which brings over 13 years of experience bridging activist and academic approaches to peacebuilding in Sarajevo and University of Manchester. It was developed in the context of the Peace Academy’s Study of Peacebuilding Practice in Divided Societies and our conviction that peacebuilding practitioners and practice benefit from critical reflection and engagement with academic rigor both to articulate their understandings of peacebuilding practice and also to ask tough questions about what does or doesn’t work and why.

Accordingly, the course provides both theoretical but also practical tools. The course is further enriched by providing interactive exchange among diverse students coming from within and beyond the Post-Yugoslav countries. 

The course is open to activists, students, researchers, theoreticians, journalists who are working in the fields of peacebuilding, dealing with the past, and human rights’ protection.

The course will be held from July 26 until September 3. 

The course topics are: 

See the detailed Course Outline for more information.

Participation in the course requires 6 hours per unit/week


If you wish to participate, please fill out the Online Application Form. You will be automatically notified when we receive your application. You will also receive an email from us not later than 7 days after replying to inform you if we need any additional information. 

Applications are open until June 20 (12pm CEST).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your participation or need other information in this regard, please contact us at info@mirovna-akademija.org

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You will be notified about the selection outcome of applications at the latest by July 7th. 

Participation Prerequisites:

  • Willingness to attend the selected course during its whole duration;
  • Willingness to fulfil all obligations related to the course (reading the recommended literature and writing an essay if you would like to receive a certificate); 
  • Fluency in English;
  • Minimum age for participation is 21 years;
  • Participation fee payment after your application has been selected.

Working Methodology:

The online course will be done in two ways: asynchronous sessions and synchronous sessions. 

  • Asynchronous: these sessions include activities that can be done on your own time. Sessions will include reading the main text for the course, possible videos or movies and connecting with other students through Forum to discuss the course material, videos or movies. 
  • Synchronous: live 2-hour sessions with professors and other students that will take place once a week for each of the topics.

The students will need:

  • A computer or mobile device with a camera, microphone, and speakers
  • A headset with microphone is useful (but not required) for this purpose and to cut down on background noise
  • A strong enough internet connection to connect to Zoom (click here for Zoom technical specifications)
  • The ability to access and download documents to the online learning platform at Peace Academy (Moodle)
  • The ability to stream videos posted by faculty members.

This course is made possible by a grant from the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).

Participation fee: 

Each participant is obliged to pay a participation fee. The participation fee is paid after you receive confirmation that you have been accepted.

Participation fees are divided into the following two categories: 

  • Participants who are only citizens of one and reside in a Post-Yugoslav country or the global South pay a subsidized fee of 60 €. This subsidy is enabled by our grant and reflects our commitment to equalize access.
  • Participants who are citizens of other countries (outside the categories above) pay a participation fee of 350€.

Participation fees can be paid by Paypal or bank transfer. Provisions of bank fees are not included in the participation fees and are expected to be paid by participants themselves. Participants will be informed about the deadline and means of participation fee payment after the selection process. Participation fees will be due before the start of the course. Participation fees will be used to cover costs of course materials and Peace Academy’s operational costs. 

Note for participants from the Post-Yugoslav countries or global South: If you or your organization can contribute to the Peace Academy’s sustainability by paying a larger participation fee (e.g., 150, 250 or 350 €), please let us know.

For all additional information regarding the Peace Academy please contact us at: 

E-mail: info@mirovna-akademija.org
Mobile/WhatsApp/Viber: +387 66 245 705
Contact person: Mirjana Trifković, PAF’s Summer Course Coordinator 

We are looking forward to receiving your applications!

Call for Applications (mirovna-akademija.org)

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