Since its appearance more than 20 years ago, Huntington’s thesis that cultural and religious identities will become a fundamental source of conflict in the post-Cold War era has inspired numerous scientific and popular articles, books and debates. However, despite its popularity, originality and, according to some, its visionary potential, “the clash of civilisations” thesis has many conceptual, definitional and analytic shortcomings, including the essentialisation and reification of civilisations as well as problematic normative assumptions. Nevertheless, Huntington’s ideas still continue to inspire scholars dealing with conflicts, both past and present, actual and possible.
The course, which is entering its nineteenth year in 2015, will consequently deal with differences in the contemporary conceptualisation and research on sources of division and conflict in the global era, including a critical re-examination of 20th century theories and concepts and their relevance for the research of divided societies today. We encourage the participation of students and scholars in the social sciences, law and humanities and other fields and disciplines that study social phenomena such as divisions, cleavages, conflicts, borders, ethnicity and diversity.
This post/graduate course will be organized as a rigorous academic interdisciplinary programme structured around lectures, workshops and conference-oriented presentations of scholarly research. Course participants will engage in active discussions on the theoretical, methodological and practical issues of research in divided societies. Graduate and postgraduate students’ presentations are also welcome. In addition, the course offers personal inter-cultural experience of students and faculty from other contexts in an unforgettable setting of a city that was itself the target of a destructive conflict.
*The course offers 3-6 ECTS credits for MA and PhD students.