The idea for the summer school on ethnic relations, which would gather international graduate students who are working in that area, was born in the project by Dr Dušan Janjić, Forum for Ethnic Relations, Prof. Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Umea University, Prof. Robert Hayden, University of Pittsburgh and Prof. Stefano Bianchini, University of Bologna. There was hope that the school would develop research and cooperation in those areas.
The lecturers were selected among well known experts in the various perspectives on the issues of ethnic relations (see the enclosed list).
The school took place in Kotor, which proved to be a good choice, considering a nice and calm setting and reasonable prices and distance.
The applicants were selected on the following criteria: They were enrolled in graduate school and were writing a master’ or doctoral thesis in the area of ethnic conflict from the following perspectives: historical, philosophical, political, sociological, demographic and economical (see the enclosed list). The applicants came well prepared and generally showed a high degree of involvement in the school: asking important and provocative questions, and sharing original and insightful contributions with the group.
In the course of preparation a 287-page Reading material was selected, copied and bound. It contained recent important academic articles on the relevant subjects selected by the lecturers (see the enclosed content).
The lectures were extremely thorough and covered a wide range of topics (see the enclosed program). The participants enjoyed new information as well as a lively discussion after each talk. There was an excellent opportunity to enlarge the educational possibilities, because the Russian-Yugoslav Round Table on Democratization and Ethnic Relations in Russia and Yugoslavia, and Related Experiences took place in Kotor on 28th and 29th of June. The Round Table gathered numerous prominent intellectuals from Russian Federation and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Students of the Kotor Summer School were encouraged to attend the Round Table and all of them used that opportunity to broaden their experience, many of them even took part in the discussion.
The school adhered to the proposed program, which means that the topics moved from general issues of ethnic identity in the context of other cultural and social identities, through questions of citizenship, multiculturalism, geopolitics and self-determination towards more specific issues of ethnic mobilization and national conflicts in postcommunist societies and ethnic cleansing and transfer of population, especially in the Balkans.
The experience of the school is that it would be extremely beneficial for it to continue, especially if the possibilities of inviting students from abroad, and from the countries on the territories of ex-Yugoslavia in particular, materialized.