Summer School "Transitional Justice & the Politics of Memory", 3-13 July 2017, Croatia

Publish Date: Jan 24, 2017


The Summer School Cres was launched in 2013 as a collaboration between the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the University of Rijeka in Croatia to offer students an excellent opportunity to learn about how societies deal and overcome war crimes and human rights violations during conflicts and under authoritarian regimes.

Over the years our collaboration has expanded and now includes Pomona College and Montclair State University in the United States. Now we have the pleasure of welcoming annually dynamic, new groups of students and practitioners for a 10-day summer program on transitional justice and the politics of memory on the beautiful island of Cres along the Adriatic coast.

The program includes lectures, seminars, workshops and excursions with a high-caliber faculty and guest lecturers, including scholars, practitioners and activists.


The total fee, including tuition and ten nights accommodation in a seaside hostel, for this summer school is €600 for University of Groningen students and €800 for non-University of Groningen students. Please download and fill in application form in the pdf file here and email it to


Democratic Transitions, Human Rights, and the Role of External Actors

How can confronting the past be reconciled with the “messiness” of democratic transitions? Is there an inherent tradeoff between the push for justice and the desire for stability? What role, if any, can the West in particular play in pushing for transitional justice and human rights more broadly during democratic transitions? This theme explores such questions through lectures, films, reading, simulations, and discussions, with a special focus on post-communist Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Japan. 

Justice and Accountability

This theme explores core transitional justice mechanisms such as war crimes trials, lustration, amnesties, reparations, and truth commissions. Thus, it includes transitional justice in both post-conflict and post-authoritarian contexts. Cases are drawn from a broad range of geographic contexts that include the former Yugoslavia, East Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.  Students will gain a strong grasp of choices and dilemmas in relation to the design, implementation, and impact of these various transitional justice mechanisms and will critically reflect on the effectiveness of these mechanisms across the case studies.

Politics of Cultural Memory

Commemorations and other political rituals are key components of a nation’s cultural memory, crucial for the construction and reinforcement of ideological, ethnic, economic, gender, and other identities. The construction of cultural memory and cultural identities are central themes of memory studies which analyze the different processes of remembrance and forgetting that occur at the individual, group and societal level. Research in this field has rapidly developed through an interdisciplinary approach over the last twenty years. Students will analyze the leading trends in memory studies through a number of comparative case studies and learn how the politics of the past affects transitional justice initiatives and efforts of reconciliation in post-conflict societies.

Social Movements, Arts and Youth in Transitions

Many dictators and authoritarian regimes have been toppled by protests that started in the streets. The fall of several heads of state during the Arab Spring, and the ouster of leaders in the Balkans and Central Europe illustrate this trend. Thus, protesters, often including a large number of youth and artists, have occupied a crucial role in defining the future direction of democratic transitions in post-conflict and post-authoritarian countries. This theme explores questions related to the impact of youth activists and art, such as performance art and street art, among others, to shed light on the power politics and transformations within transitioning societies.

Conflict, Migration and Identity Politics

The Syrian civil war that broke out after peaceful protest during the Arab Spring  has fueled a global refugee crisis that has challenged not only political institutions in European Union member states, but also sparked public debates on questions about identity, nationhood and cultural integration in developed countries worldwide. The different issues in this theme are examined through a variety of analytical perspectives, including advocacy, ethnography, history, law, political science and sociology to critically reflect on this pressing international phenomenon.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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Conflict Studies

Democracy Studies

Human Rights

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