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Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformation Lecturer: Orli Friedman ReCom – Memory on the war in ex-Yugoslavia or Memory of fears Course participant: Sakibe Jashari, Kosovo IntroductionInitiative on establishing...

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Peace Academy Reflection

Tory Tevis I would like to begin my reflection on the Sarajevo Peace Academy by first stating how difficult it was to settle on a topic to write about.  All the...

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About us

Who are we?

The Peace Academy Foundation (PAF) is an independent non-partisan and non-profit organization, which acts in the spirit of democracy, openness, tolerance and solidarity. 

PAF is located in Sarajevo and registered as a foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, PAF's area of engagement also includes the countries which emerged after the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (hereafter referred to as the region). It is an area in which (violent) conflicts and peacebuilding efforts are deeply intertwined due to cultural, historical, economic and political reasons.

Field of Work

PAF is engaged in the field of peacebuilding. Peacebuilding is a complex set of interlinked processes and activities “involving investments and materials, architectural design and coordination of labor, laying a foundation, and detailed finish work, as well as continuing maintenance.”  All components of peacebuilding work towards peace which is conceived as “justice and equity for all as the basis for living together in harmony and freedom from violence.” 

In more practical terms PAF sees peacebuilding as increasing the capacities of people and institutions to manage diversity, transform conflicts and avoid structural violence by investigating and analyzing the causes of war, opening perspectives and reestablishing interrupted and destroyed relationships among people and between the ethnic groups of the region. In this regard the work of PAF is interdisciplinary and includes a number of areas of engagement such as culture, identity, ethnicity, religion, politics, nation building, gender, marginalized groups, etc. 

PAF does not divide peacebuilders into “theoreticians” and “practitioners” on the basis of the type of their engagement or work environment, be it university, academic or NGO. It is crucial that their peacebuilding work is visible and effective in public. Only then, are peacebuiders treated as “practitioners.”  If their work is performed only within a scholarly community and is not visible in public, they are treated as “theoreticians”.

Key achievements

Through various activities implemented since 2007, PAF achieved the following:

  • Four 10-day summer schools - Post-Yugoslav Peace Academy (PYPA) - involving more than 210 peacebuilding actors, NGO activists, theoreticians, journalists and others from the region and beyond;
  • 12 courses with unique curricula on peacebuilding that combine activist and academic approaches to peacebuilding delivered by 14 renowned instructors from the region and beyond;
  • More than 100 essays written by participants and published as final products of Summer Academies which have enriched locally-produced peacebuilding literature in the region;
  • Establishing PAX Library and publishing its first translation, increasing the amount of peacebuilding literature available in local languages;
  • A unique online platform using Moodle software which serves as an effective, economical and easy channel for communication and exchange of information between peacebuilding actors;
  • Newsletters on PYPA-related issues have been disseminated by e-mail and Internet.