2023 Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions

13th Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions | 27 August - 3 September 2023 | Belgrade, Serbia

Events / Sun 27 Aug 2023

Ethnic conflict has again become a threat to peace in Europe since Ukraine’s invasion by Russia has been linked to ethnopolitics and the safeguarding of ethnic minorities. Ethnic conflicts, in addition to the variety of their causes, their actors involved, and their levels of intensity, take a significant toll in terms of human, economic, and social costs. Conflicts can fundamentally change political institutions, social norms, and identities. Equally important are conflict resolution arrangements. So-called “accommodation regimes” for inter-ethnic conflict resolution include minority rights, autonomy arrangements, and power-sharing.

In 2023, the ECMI Summer School will consist of two thematic parts. In the first part, attention will be paid to what our collective knowledge about ethnic conflict – both in Europe and elsewhere in the world – can tell us about why this torment is rising again. Alongside more micro-level precipitators like local disputes or triggers in specific contexts, participants will discuss long-term, structural causes like poverty, discrimination, and exclusion. Here, the Summer School will feature a quantitative component, where scholars linked to the Ethnic Power Relations project (EPR) will introduce the wealth of comparative datasets available to examine conflicts on a more systematic level. In the second part, participants will examine conflict resolution arrangements, including institutional mechanisms and bottom-up programmes.

Topics covered

  • Conceptual Foundations of Ethnic Conflict: Can we define ethnic conflict? How does nationalism precipitate ethnic conflict? What is the role of emotions and grievances in causing ethnic conflicts and insurgencies?

  • The Agony of Ethnic Conflict: How does conflict affect ordinary citizens? What role do women play in the course of ethnic conflict? What are the roots of ethnic cleansing?

  • Measuring Ethnic Conflict: Can we measure ethnic conflict? How can we analyze ethnic conflicts comparatively using datasets? What approaches exist in measuring ethnic conflict and what are the key conceptual and methodological issues involved?

  • Post-Conflict Reconciliation: Does the involvement of international organisations facilitate conflict resolution? What are the types of power-sharing arrangements, and do they work? How do bottom-up peacebuilding initiatives enable reconciliation? Why are transitional justice and the establishment of truth important?


Planned activities

The programme will combine traditional and non-formal educational methods, interactive sessions and networking activities and will thus inspire the participants to engage with the topics of the course critically and from different perspectives and disciplinary approaches.

The course will include:

  • Keynote lectures delivered by prominent scholars, academic lectures and practitioners’ seminars;

  • Interactive workshops conducted by trained professionals, world cafés and discussion sessions ;

  • Meetings and networking with local minority stakeholders,  disucssion panels on topics such as gender, power-sharing arrangements, and bottom-up peace-building initiatives;

  • A study trip to Novi Sad and a visit to the Assembly of Vojvodina (meeting with the local government representatives & minority institutions);

  • Presentation and research exchange among the participants ;

  • Social events (visits to selected museums/exhibitions, international evening).


Sunday 27 August - Day 1

Input session | Introduction to ethnic conflict studies
  • Felix Schulte (ECMI)

Monday 28 August - Day 2

Official Opening
  • Iñaki Irazabalbeitia (Coppieters Foundation)
  • Vello Pettai (ECMI)
Keynote Lecture | Ethnic Conflict Studies
  • Corinne Bara (ETH Zürich)
Lecture | Conflict Management
  • Corinne Bara (ETH Zürich)
Lecture | Causes of ethnic conflict and spark events
  • Felix Schulte (ECMI)
Seminar activity | Ethnic conflict or not?
  • Summer School Team
  • Felix Schulte
  • Erika Forsberg

Tuesday 29 August - Day 3

Panel discussion | Gender & ethnic conflict
  • Sofija Todorović (Youth Initiative for Human Rights)
  • Margareta Bašaragin (Women’s Studies and Research)
  • Sanja Ćopić (University of Belgrade)

Moderator Zorica Mršević (Institute of Social Sciences/University of Belgrade)

World café | Gender & ethnic conflict
Lecture | The Roots of Ethnic Cleansing in Europe: Bosnia and Beyond
  • Zeynep Bulutgil (University College London)


Lecture | Inequality within and between ethno-religious groups & communal riots: The case of India
  • Zeynep Bulutgil (University College London)

Wednesday 30 August - Day 4

Lecture and group work | The "measurement" of ethnic identity and conflict
  • Andreas Juon (International Conflict Research group at ETH Zürich)
Lecture | Quantitative approaches: opportunities and challenges
  • Andreas Juon
Seminar session | Mapping ethnic conflict using the Ethnic Power Relations Dataset
  • Andreas Juon
Science Slam: participant presentations

Thursday 31 August - Day 5

Excursion day | Novi Sad

Friday 1 September - Day 6

Panel Discussion | International institutions and conflict resolutions
  • River Hustad (HCNM/OSCE)
  • Milica Rodić (OSCE Mission to Serbia)
  • Tobias Flessenkemper (Council of Europe)

Moderator Ljubica Djordjević (ECMI)

Lecture | Do international actors matter in post-conflict reconciliation?
  • Ljubica Djordjević (ECMI)
Panel Discussion | Power sharing in post-conflict societies: what is the way to go? Macedonia, Bosnia, Northern Ireland
  • Rubin Zemon (American University of Europe)
  • Joanne McEvoy (University of Aberdeen)
  • Goran Marković (University of East Sarajevo)

Moderator Daniel Bochsler (Central European University and University of Belgrade).

World Café | Power sharing

Summer School Team

Saturday 2 September | Day 7

Learning Circle Bottom-up Peace Building

Representatives of local NGOs/citizens’ initiatives etc.

  • Velma Šarić (Post-Conflict Research Center)
  • Dejana Stošić (Youth Initiative for Human Rights)
  • Marijana Toma (KU Leuven)
  • Denisa Kostovicova (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Moderator Sead Turčalo (University of Sarajevo)

Lecture | Truth commissions, transitional justice, and civil society
  • Denisa Kostovicova (London School of Economics and Political Science)

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Registration for this summer school has closed.

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Eligibility and application procedures

The Summer School team aims to select a total number of 25 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners, having the following professional background:

  • Students from relevant fields of studies (MA and PhD students), and/or
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs or mass-media.

 Applicants are required to complete the online application form, which includes questions on general information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information) and motivation.

To finalise the submission of an application, applicants must also submit their detailed CV via email to summerschool@ecmi.de  no later than 28 April 2023.  Please state “NMBR SuS23 Application” in the subject line.

The application will not be considered for the selection process unless a CV is submitted via email. 

The selection will be performed on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the topic. Diversity of the group in terms of professional background, gender, and country of origin will be an important factor in the selection process.


Applicants who submit their completed applications before the Early Bird deadline will be eligible for a reduced fee in the event that they are selected for the programme. Fees will be due to be paid in late June.

The tuition fee for the Summer School 2023 is

  • 200 EUR if the completed application is submitted until 31 March 2023 (EARLY BIRD discount);
  • 250 EUR if the completed application is submitted on or after 1 April 2023.

The fee covers:

  • The week-long programme of lectures and workshops;
  • All reading materials before and during the Summer School ;
  • Accommodation (including breakfast)  in shared rooms from 26 August (Saturday) – 3 September 2023 (Sunday);
  • Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, plus two dinners;
  • A field trip to Novi Sad;
  • Participation in all additional Summer School activities (city tour, social activities, visits to museums/exhibition);
  • Support with bureaucratic matters during your visa application (if needed). Please note that visa fees will not be reimbursed.

Travel costs, as well as visa and health/travel insurance costs will  not  be reimbursed.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation until 30 June 2023: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs.

Cancellations after 30 June 2023: no refund.

Venue and partners

The 13th Annual Summer School ‘National Minorities and Border Regions’ is organised by the European Center for Minority Issues together with Coppieters Foundation  and in cooperation with the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade, Serbia.


Download the Call for Participants here.

Have a look at the 2022 Summer School programme here.


Media inquiries can be addressed to info@ideasforeurope.eu

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This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the event nor the opinions of the speakers.

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This Summer School is a joint initiative of Coppieters Foundation and ECMI .

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