Linearity of Peace: Reflections from the Balkans and Beyond

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Location: C103, Hesburgh Center for International Studies

Moderator:

Ahmet Erdi Öztürk, Scholar in Residence, Kroc Institute

Panelists:

  • Bahar Baser, Visiting Research Fellow, Kroc Institute
  • Elena B. Stavrevska, Visiting Research Fellow, Kroc Institute
  • Carli Steelman, Ph.D. Student in Sociology and Peace Studies, Kroc Institute
  • Ernesto Verdeja, Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies, Kroc Institute

In Summer 2018, a decade after Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo presented the idea of “border-correction” as a step towards normalization of their relationship. Backed by the United States, the land-swap suggestion has brought with it questions about its possible consequences for the Balkan region. With the 1990s wars far from forgotten, many have warned against setting a dangerous precedent for redrawing national borders along ethnic lines. This holds particularly true for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has largely been territorially divided and where conflict has been institutionalized. Equally importantly, this development raises issues for peace scholars and practitioners. Can peace in a multiethnic society ever be achieved, especially after periods of oppression, human rights violation, and in some cases, acts of genocide? What are the conditions that might allow that peace to take root and what forms could it take? The panel aims to address these questions by bringing the situation in the Balkans into conversation with other regions, most notably the Kurdish region in Iraq.