Essays English 2008 - What Can We Learn From Peace Movements?

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Essays

Lessons in Dissent: The Principles of the "Others"…

Marina Vasilj "Nothing is more unworthy of a civilized people than to allow itself to be "governed" by an irresponsible ruling clique motivated by the darkest instincts" (The White Rose leaflet, summer...

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ReCom

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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2008 - What Can We Learn From Peace Movements?

What is the Truth? Thoughts on the differences between Nationalism and Patriotism

[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 truth is that Croatia is an independent country, that its minister of science is Dragan Primorac, that the ruling party is Croatian Democratic Union, its currency is Kuna, etc. It is also the truth, in personal aspect, that I live in Zagreb, that I am a journalist and assistant lecturer, etc. This is not problematic whatsoever and it is certainly not something one should think about for more then a second, if that much.

But, what happens when there are more versions of the same thing and when all involved sides perceive their version as a general truth? Who is right?

Thus, in this paper, I will firstly discuss the truth in terms of nationalism and patriotism.

Secondly, I will discuss the differences between nationalism and patriotism.

Thirdly, I will discuss the common misperceptions of both.

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The Role of Justice in Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Maruša Rosulnik

Ljubljana, August 2008

Introduction

An end of a conflict is a beginning of a new path leading to peace and reconciliation. One of the means employed on the road to reconciling a post-conflict society is justice. Can a judicial mechanism indeed bring peace and reconciliation? According to the United Nations Resolution on Impunity[1], a judicial body's goal of ending impunity aspires to bring justice, find truth, promote accountability and deter the commission of crimes, obtain remedy and restore dignity of victims, establish historical record, promote reconciliation and establish peace and stability in a society. Based upon this conceptual link between justice and peace, in 1993 the United Nations Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY or Tribunal) aiming to restore and maintain peace by persecuting perpetrators. Even though not explicitly stated in the ICTY Statue, the task of maintaining peace entailed the aim of promoting reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Has the Tribunal succeeded in fostering reconciliation in the post-conflict BiH?

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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 themes, ideas and people we discussed with regard to non-violence and peace activism were inspiring, eye-opening, and exciting.  Our instructor, Dr. Brian Phillips, was a reminder of how powerful the combination of enthusiasm and knowledge can be.  To be working with and listening to the individuals who made up or class was a privilege.  As a foreigner and also one who is young and inexperienced, it was enlightening to be part of such a knowledgeable group of people from this region.  In fact, I was a little intimidated by my lack of experience when it came to contributing to discussions; I felt I could generally benefit more from listening than talking.  Some of the topics covered were new to me, and those which were familiar were given new depth and meaning.  It is actually on two subjects which are an integral part of my own country's (the United States) history that I would now like to reflect upon:  Martin Luther King, Jr. and American World War II Conscientious Objectors.  Comparing and contrasting the presentation of these two subjects in the mainstream narrative of American history to the lessons of the Peace Academy is a revealing exercise.  It highlights key ideas which are useful for those who already consider themselves activists, but might also inspire others to become activists.

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Which Way to Peace?

Dubravka Kalac

Zadar, Croatia

>Sometimes, when I walk the streets of my city, late in the evening, when there's only silence present, pictures of  not so distant past strike me, and I wonder: is it possible that the War used to walk these same streets? Then the boxes of my memory open, and take me deep inside, to where I think was impossible to dwell. Facing the past, this is how it's called, a painful past, difficult to the extent that one doesn't know what to do with it, other than erase it, delete it, bury it. The strategy proves to be the wrong one, there's no way you can avoid to face it over and over again, in reality, in dreams. Sometimes it feels as if it happened in some other life, to some other person, because it sounds more like a scenario of a film, and you don't think you could have ever possibly played a role in it. But one thing I know, I wouldn't be able to go through the same scenario once again. What would I do if another war breaks out? Would I try to hide? But where would I hide in this world so unsafe and full of violence? Is there peace anywhere? Again, the strategy proves to be the wrong one. And I face myself with another question, is there any alternative, any possibility of change, of feeling safe and secure, with no worries, fears of another bloodshed, but without having to escape, hide?

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Lessons in Dissent: The Principles of the "Others"

Marina Vasilj

"Nothing is more unworthy of a civilized people than to allow itself to be "governed" by an irresponsible ruling clique motivated by the darkest instincts"

(The White Rose leaflet, summer 1942)[1]

 

The country I grew up in no longer exists. The city I was brought up in no longer represents what it used to stand for. Over the past sixteen years, societies in the region have suffered through the gruesome civil war and continue to struggle through even more gruesome post-war transition. Yet, throughout these turbulent times I have encountered stories of people whose persistent faith in human principles such as personal integrity, moral courage, accountability, honesty, and love for their neighbor has seen them through the darkest hours and grown even stronger in time; it is the kind of faith immanent to those who confronted the adversity in self and others and embraced their vulnerability realizing they have the power to convert it into a source of enormous personal strength. This essay examines the accounts of some of the resolute men and women who, at different points in time and in different political contexts, chose to exercise the highest human quality - their free will - by taking non-violent actions and being at variance with the dominant social thought of the time, how effective were their actions and what lessons can be drawn from their successes or failures.

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