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  • Locations: Online, United States
  • Program Terms: Summer (Online)
  • Budget Sheets: Summer (Online)
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Number of Credits Offered: 3-6
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Mason Korea
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0 Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

The Balkans Case: Reconciliation and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the Aftermath of Mass Violence

Online, Summer 2021



Welcome to the Balkans field experience/study abroad course. The conflicts that swept through the republics of former Yugoslavia in 1990s are often described as Europe's deadliest conflicts since World War II. These conflicts have become infamous for the war crimes committed, including mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Even 25 years after the war, the communities of former Yugoslavia are undergoing a painful process of facing the past, while the reconciliation and positive peace remain elusive. 


History, memorialization, truth telling, justice and education initiatives can be used to connect communities in post-conflict settings, but they can also be utilized to generate polarization and differentiation. Together we will learn how these tools are used in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia. We will also explore other case studies and perspectives using a comparative lens to crystallize knowledge applicable in different contexts. The course will focus on learning about a systemic approach for dealing with the contentious history that can contribute to building more equitable and just societies.  The aim is to understand not only how contentious past impacts the ways in which post-conflict societies function, but also to look into various social practices and initiatives of counteracting the negative effects of divisive past. We will examine topics such as the role of non-violent movements and gender in dealing with the past, memory eradication and denial, historical narratives and counter narratives, politics of commemoration, manipulation of the sites of memory, history education and forgiveness. 


The value of this virtual experiential learning course is that it provides a unique opportunity for students and scholars to virtually interact with local peace builders in three post-conflict societies and learn how post-conflict peacebuilding efforts impact the dynamics of relationships among different ethnic groups.  The course will also provide a space in which participants will be able to reflect on and re-examine their own assumptions on conflict resolution theory and practice, and explore innovative ways of dealing with complex issues through workshops and panel discussions. Finally, this will also be an excellent opportunity to network and establish relationships with representatives of local, regional and international organizations, engage with local people and immerse in the rich history and culture of the region.

Sponsored by the Global Education Office, Mason Korea, and the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


This course will be offered for 6 credits, 3 credits and for non-credit. It is open to GMU Korea students as well as students from other Universities in Korea and the US, GMU Korea alumni and others as a professional development seminar.


CONF: 385, 390, 399, 695
GLOA: 480
INTS: 399, 595
HIST: 387

Students can select 1-2 courses, or do the course for non-credit. 

  • Post-conflict reconstruction and state fragility
  • Memory production and its impact on communities
  • Nationalism and identity
  • Justice in the aftermath of war
  • Trauma and healing
  • Gender and peacebuilding
  • Education for sustainable peace
  • Trends, initiatives and solutions for conflict resilient societies
  • Conflict resolution methods and practices

Course Structure

The course is scheduled to take place June 1-10, 2021. Each day will be structured as ~3 hours lectures/class time, and approximately ~4-6 hours of virtual tours, meetings and discussions/presentations with local scholars/practitioners and those directly affected by the conflict. 

The difference between students taking the class for 3 or 6 credits will be in the size of their assignments. 

Program Dates:
June 21-30, 2021


Session 1: Introductory seminar and background to the Balkans conflict (June 1)

Session 2: Nationalism, extremism and conflict (June 2)

Burg, Steven L., and Paul S. Shoup. 1999. The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Ethnic Conflict and International Intervention. ME Sharpe. (Chapters 1, 2)

Speaker presentation and discussions

Session 3: Dealing with the past and non-violent movements (June 3)

USIP. 2001. “Whither the Bulldozer? Nonviolent Revolution and the Transition to Democracy in Serbia”. Special Report. Washington D.C.: USIP.

Sharp, Gene. 2005. Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential (chapter 1)

Chenoweth, Erica, and Maria J. Stephan. 2012. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. Reprint edition. Columbia University Press. (Part 1)

Speaker presentation and discussions

Session 4: Identity, memory and conflict ( June 4)

Volkan, Vamik D. 2001. “Transgenerational Transmissions and Chosen Traumas: An Aspect of Large-Group Identity.” Group Analysis 34 (1): 79–97. doi:10.1177/05333160122077730.

Virtual sightseeing session

Session 5: Memory and conflict (June 5)

Minow, Martha. 1998. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence. Boston: Beacon Press (Chapter 2)

Subotić, Jelena. Hijacked Justice: Dealing with the Past in the Balkans. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009 (Introduction)

Speaker presentation and discussions

Session 6: Narratives and counter-narratives of the past (June 6)

Ron, Yiftach & Maoz, Ifat. (2013). Dangerous stories: Encountering narratives of the other in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, Vol 19(3), Aug 2013, 281-294.

Tatjana Markovic. 2007. Idiosyncrasies of the Grand Narratives on Serbian National Identity. Revisited.

Virtual sightseeing session

Session 7: Dealing with difficult past and justice in the aftermath of mass atrocities (June 7)

Hoogenboom, David A., and Stephanie Vieille. 2010. “Rebuilding Social Fabric in Failed States: Examining Transitional Justice in Bosnia.” Human Rights Review 11 (2): 183–198.

Evening Debrief and Discussions

Subotić, Jelena. Hijacked Justice: Dealing with the Past in the Balkans. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009 (Chapters, 1, 2)

Lundy, Patricia, and Mark McGovern. 2008. “Whose Justice? Rethinking Transitional Justice from the Bottom up.” Journal of Law and Society 35 (2): 265–292.

Speaker presentation and discussions

Session 8: Gender and dealing with the past (June 8)

Walsh, Martha. “Aftermath: The Impact of Conflict on Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Center for Development Information and Evaluation. USAID, 2000.

Helms, Elissa. 2003. “Women as Agents of Ethnic Reconciliation? Women’s NGOs and International Intervention in Postwar Bosnia–Herzegovina.” In Women’s Studies International Forum, 26:15–33. Elsevier.

Speaker presentation and discussions

Session 9: Education for sustainable peace (June 9)

Hromadzic, Azra. 2008. “Discourses of Integration and Practices of Reunification at the Mostar Gymnasium, Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Comparative Education Review 52, no. 4 (November): 541–63.

Manojlovic, Borislava. 2015. “Individual and Official Narratives of Conflict in Croatia: Schools as Sites of Memory Production”. Simona Mitriou (ed), Life Writing and Politics of Memory in Eastern Europe. Palgrave Macmillan.

Virtual sightseeing session

Session 10: Responsibility and Reconciliation (June 10)

Duhaček, Daša. 2006. "The Making of Political Responsibility: Hannah Arendt and/in the Case of Serbia," Women and Citizenship in Central and Eastern Europe.

Hoskins, Te Kawehau, Betsan Martin, and Maria Humphries. 2011. “The Power of Relational Responsibility.”

Speaker presentation and discussions
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Summer 2021: $1,637 (UG) $2,016 (GR) (3 credits)

 $3,245 (UG) $4,025 (GR) (6 credits)


  • Tuition and fees
  • course speakers’ costs
*There will be a program cost for 3-credits and a cost for 6-credits.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO virtual programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in two payments (Deposit + Final Payment). Students planning on using financial aid should contact their Financial Aid Counselor if they plan to use aid.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program cost.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by May 10th. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you've already paid (Deposit). Students who are using financial aid will need to contact the Financial Aid Office upon applying for the program.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must reach out to the Financial Aid Office directly. The Office of Financial Aid is unable to assess if a student will have aid available for summer until April 5. Please complete the summer aid request form on the Financial Aid Office’s website on/after April 5. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

* Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students:

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:


Application Deadline:

June 1st

Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.Application requirements:*

Statement of Purpose: submit a brief statement of purpose (250 words max.) detailing your academic reasons for applying to the program.


Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

Name Dr. Borislava Manojlovic

Academic Director

Name Dr. Roland B. Wilson

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.