Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility and Reconciliation

The Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility and Reconciliation is an independent non-profit research institution established by the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. The Institute is committed to the development of theory, research, and practice that explains and analyses processes of conflict resolution and reconciliation, with a particular focus on the Balkan region.

After a tragic conflict that engulfed the countries of Western Balkans, there is a growing interest in independent, academic study of the origins of the conflict, its nature and societal patterns, outcomes, responsibility, and efforts at reconciliation and community restoration. The region is currently lacking institutionalized research capacities that would deal with these issues at the regional level, although there is a recognized need for researching the above mentioned issues. In addition to this, intra-regional academic exchange is seriously limited with regard to the matters that remain crucial for their respective societies and the region as a whole.

Research within individual countries of the region focuses on description of either causal mechanisms or democratization processes within the framework of mainstream political science, with rare attempts to challenge the myth-making strategies of the national political elites or engage in innovative, inter-disciplinary ways with the subject matter. Normative accounts, on the other hand, tend to lack in theoretical and empirical soundness. Narratives of the recent conflicts are not subjected to scientific scrutiny and are dominated by popular memoir literature, which has proved to be insufficiently reliable, self-enclosed and de-stimulating in terms of public debate. 

The primary focus of the Institute’s work is conducting socially important research tackling the issues, processes and implications of conflicts, conflict resolution and reconciliation. Institute also intends to work towards publicizing its research to the wider public beyond the academic circles in order to inspire and stimulate general public debate and facilitate regional and national processes of peace consolidation, restoration of inter-community relations and cultivation of critical discursive reflection on collective memory and community bonds.

With its permanent and affiliated staff consisting of scholars, researchers and international experts in the field of politics, political theory, political psychology, nationalism studies and the Balkans studies, the Institute provides a unique platform for independent, cutting-edge inter-disciplinary research and cooperation. It aims to fill the gap created by the lack of strong empirical evidence and normative-theoretical inquiry that would shed light to questions of sustainable conflict resolution, reconciliation and post-conflict restoration of intergroup relations.

Institute’s Goals
  •  Advancing the understanding of deeply rooted conflicts with a particular focus on the Balkan region
  • Conducting and initiating research on processes underlying conflict resolution and reconciliation
  • Establishing regional and international cooperation among universities, NGOs, and individual researchers in the field of Balkan studies, history, politics, psychology, peace research and reconciliation.
  • Establishing Network of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation scholars and practitioners.
  • Organizing regional and international conferences, academic exchanges and study visits with the purpose of advancing the research, study and teaching of the above fields.
  • Serving as a host to regional and international academics and researchers conducting work within the specified fields, as well as junior researchers, MA and PhD candidates.
  • Publishing and promotion of research findings and participation in the public discourse on the topics relating to peace and reconciliation.
  • Organizing the archive of research materials and establishing an electronic library through the Institute’s website.
  • Establishing research fellowships and funds for junior and senior researchers.
  • Establishing collaboration with the prominent international institutes dealing with related fields of interest and research.

Major Research Areas
  • History, politics and psychology of the Balkans conflicts
  • Processes of conflict resolution and reconciliation
  • Restoration of post-conflict intergroup relations
  • Dealing with collective atrocities
  • Collective responsibility
  • Politics of difference and identity in post-conflict political communities • Collective memory narratives 

Completed Projects 
  • Organization of a conference on “Attempts towards intergroup reconciliation in BIH: An interdisciplinary perspective”
  • Co-production of short films on “Dealing with Srebrenica genocide” to be used for research purposes
  • Research on the effects of acceptance of collective responsibility and expressions of shame on rehumanization of the perpetrator group (an experimental approach)

Current Activities 
  • Call for Applications: Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Reconciliation (one year full-time program)
  • Research Project  on „Investigation of socio-political relationships between Turkey and BIH“
  • Research  Project on „Apology effects on intergroup forgiveness“
  • Research Project on „Fostering Reconciliation through Moral Examplars“

Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility and Reconciliation
Sabina Čehajic-Clancy -;
Dr. Jana Jevtić - jana.jevtić

Note: The work of the Institute is supervised by the staff associated with the King Salman Chair in Peace and International Relations. 


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