International Summer School
Rethinking the Culture of Tolerance
Tolerance and Conflict Prevention and Resolution
From the Neighborhoods to the International Community
Sarajevo, 19-25 September 2016
Directors of the Summer School
Tatjana Sekulić, Dejan Bokonjić and Ugo Vlaisavljević
The International Summer School ‘Rethinking the Culture of Tolerance’ is a joint program between the University of Milan-Bicocca, the University of Sarajevo, and the University of East Sarajevo.
The question of tolerance is one of the most challenging in the contemporary world. As the modern discourse of tolerance historically appears together with those of pluralism, liberty and autonomy, the pluralistic society at the global level, and particularly in Europe, needs more than ever a serious rethinking of the concept itself, together with the contextualization of the forms and practices of toleration as a response to the new models of intolerance and discrimination.
A critical discourse on tolerance and toleration seems to have a particular weight in the context of post-war, but also post-socialist and post-Yugoslav societies of the ‘Western Balkans’. Many important steps towards the rebuilding of trust and integration of these societies have been already made, but there is still much work to be done. At the same time, the question is constantly re-proposed in the context of the European integration and enlargement process, where the new national, supranational and transnational political, juridical, cultural, economic and social patterns and democratic practices are still to be built, as a great challenge for the citizens of the European space. In that sense the Summer School aims not only to create the condition for a ‘transfer of knowledge’, but also to exchange experiences among lecturers and students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and other European and extra European countries, local and regional universities.
General Agenda of the Summer School
The lectures and seminars of the third edition will focus on different patterns of social conflictuality, in its micro, meso and macro dimensions. Theoretical concepts of toleration, respect and recognition and their practical significance in the prevention of structural and political forms of violence, and in the search for just and durable solutions for conflicts in ‘stable democracies’ and transitional post-conflict societies, will be examined and discussed. The topic will be explored in the framework of a European space in construction, concerning the process of deepening – in terms of political and economic, but also cultural and social integration – and the process of widening – in terms of the Europeanization through enlargement, questioning its limits and the liminal zones of uncertain borders of the continent. The problems of a democratic deficit of the EU institutions and of the dramatic increase of social inequalities in European societies, together with those of populism, xenophobia, ‘migrant’ and ‘refugee question’, will be compared with the specific ‘troubles and issues’ of the transitional East and South European countries, new or future members of the EU.
These and related topics will be under scrutiny during the intensive one-week training, which is an excellent forum for unpacking the multifarious and heuristic potential of the concept and the practice of tolerance. Classes combine long presentations and lectures followed by questions and answers, with participatory and dialogical teaching methods. The active role of the students is one of the main targets of this proposal, and the final discussion and the papers required for the evaluation are part of that aim.
The main framework of the lectures and seminars includes the following themes:
- Political philosophy and sociology towards the concepts of tolerance and toleration;
- New social and political conflictuality of the European society/societies: an introduction;
- New wars and conflicts: theory of justice and limits of toleration;
- Cultural and religious integralism and toleration;
- The heritage of the Yugoslav wars 1991-1999 and the role of transitional justice in the process of positive peace building;
- Society in war and its post-war reconstruction: civil society in action;
- Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers: EU as a fortress, or as an ‘open city’;
- Everyday multiculturalism and inter-cultural communication in Europe: neighbourhoods, schools, work-places as space-sets of conflict and integration;
- Respect and tolerance, recognition and redistribution, as means of conflict prevention and resolution: a challenge for new models of education;
- Toleration as toler-action and the new European political culture.