Essays English


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The Role of Justice in Reconciliation in Bosnia…

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...

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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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Essays (English)

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 The city I was brought up in no longer represents what it used to stand for.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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