Looking forward to any advices! Thanks in advance!
There is probably no other region in Europe that is as much defined by coflicts as the Balkans. Its whole history is marked by a long-time disputes between its neighbours, including my home country, Serbia, and this tradition has widely influenced modern political ethos of Balkan peoples and its leaders. Some thought that the Balkans had gotten rid of its „demons“ during the Cold War and with the beginning of peaceful transition of Eastern Europe in 1989. Unfortunatelly, conlicts that erupted during the violent break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, proved that this part of Europe still hasn’t learned to peacefully cope with the most serious problems.
As a person who intends to deal with Serbian foreign policy after finishing my education, I believe that taking Peace Research course at Oslo International Summer School would provide me with neccessary tools to better understand recent peace-breaking history of the region, its causes, and, more important, its implications for present-day foreign policy and bilateral relationships in the region. Becoming familiar with these peace–building and peace-keeping skills is, I think, very actual for prospect scholar and policy maker involved in regional cooperation and foreign policy, since two serious crisis still pose major threat to regional peace and stability: future status of Serbian breakaway province of Kosovo, and ongoing institutional crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I am interested in doing research on international community involvement in the Yugoslav conflict, particularly (failed) peace-making efforts of the EC/EU, the U.N. and the United States in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo. I intent to write my master thesis on this subject and this course would certainly help me to do it better.
Finally, I believe that taking part in this kind of study visit is always the best possible way to hear different points of view and challenge your own, make a long-time friendships and build a personal network with future leaders. I know I will benefit personally and professionally in many ways if I get a chance to be an Oslo ISS fellow.