Education PYPA 2009 Courses Activism Reloaded


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What is the Truth? Thoughts on the…

[1] Martina Topic[2] Introduction What is the Truth? Normally, people do not ask too many questions about this because there is always something perceived as a generally or personally accepted truth. For example, the...

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Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflicts

Renata Ćuk (Zagreb, Croatia)Course: Gender, Sexuality and Violent Conflict: Beyond Oppositional Imagination Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflicts Introduction Many people connect war time sexual violence to the images of the raped Bosnian...

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Activism Reloaded

Activism Reloaded

Course Facilitators:
Goran Bozicevic, Grožnjan/Skopje
Paul Stubbs, Zagreb

This course aims to promote an understanding of peacebuilding and related forms of activism (including movements for human rights, social justice, environmental sustainability, tactical media, gender equality and gay and lesbian rights) in the Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav space. While many of the case studies will focus on peacebuilding in relation to the wars from 1991, the course will also encourage discussion of earlier 'moments' including the student-national popular-democratic activisms from 1968-1972, and the flowering of 'civil society' activisms in the 1980s. Recent activist work on 'dealing with the past' as well as movements to reclaim public space will also be discussed. Attention will be given to linkages between the local and the global with examples of transformative pioneering peacebuilding work in areas of engagement of war veterans in peacebuilding, the role of civilian volunteers in normalisation processes, grassroots empowerment and educational initiatives. Case studies will build on participants' own experiences and will seek to explore the diversity of activist trajectories and repertoires, trying to isolate what worked well and why, whilst avoiding an over-prescriptive 'toolkit' approach. Issues of networking, the role of computer-mediated communication, questions of organisational forms and the dangers of 'projectisation', will also be discussed.

Course objectives:

  • To explore debates about peace-building and their relevance in the post-Yugoslav space.

  • To understand the longer-term historical continuities and discontinuities of diverse activisms in the Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav space.

  • To examine a number of case studies on peace-building and activism in order to examine lessons which can be learnt

  • To situate peace building and other activism in the context of wider social forces without negelcting the ways in which individuals can abd do make a difference.

  • To problematise struggle between 'technical' and 'transformative' peacebuilding with examples from the Post-Yugoslav space.

  • To empower participants to set their own agendas for future peace building and activist work and to explore possible synergies and areas for future collaboration.

Course Methods

The course will avoid classic lecture type presentations (ex katedra), preferring, instead, a mixture of, inter alia, extended case studies, question and answer sessions, round table discussions, role plays, and discussion of written and audio-visual texts.

Initial Literature

1. Rill, H., Šmidling, T. and Bitoljanu, A. (ur.) 20 poticaja za budjenje i promenu CNA.

2. Kovacevic, L. et al (ur.) Operacija:Grad – prirucnik za život u neoliberalnoj stvarnosti. 2008

3. Stubbs, P. 'Politickog ekonomija civilnog društva, u Meštrovic, M. (ur.) Globalizacije i njene refleksije u Hrvatskoj

4. Stubbs, P. 'Revisiting Computer-mediated Anti-war activism' in Swoboda, H. and Solioz. C. (eds.) Conflict and renewal: Europe Transformed

5. Peirce, P. and Stubbs, P. 'Peacebuilding, Hegemony and Integrated Social Development,' in Pugh, M. (ed) Regeneration of War-torn societies

6. Škrabalo, M. et al (ur) Mobilizacije i razvoj zajednice.

7. Škrabalo, M. et al (ur) Miramida Podsjetnik

8. Božicevic, G. Reflections on Peacebuilding from Croatia in Berghof Handbook Dialogue No 7

9. Publications about public forums "Four views - From the past: How I found myself in war? Towards the future: How to reach sustainable peace?" where speakers were ex-combatants who participated in wars in the region of former Yugoslavia.

10.  Bloomfield, D. On Good Terms: Clarifying Reconciliation

11. Simon Fisher i Lada Zimina, Samo gubimo vrijeme? Otvoreno pismo graditeljima mira. Prijevod.