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Summer Workshop in International Organization Studies
“Peacebuilding & Statebuilding in War-Torn Societies”

July 5 – July 15, 2011
Josef Korbel School of International Studies,Denver,Colorado, USA

Download the Call for Applicants 

Workshop Summary
ACUNS Summer Workshop 2011: Afterthoughts from Participants by Allison McCulloch (Brandon University) and Katarina Månsson (OHCHR).

Program Theme
Protracted social conflicts in deeply divided, war-torn societies such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burundi, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, or Sri Lanka suggest the need for engagement to address the religious, ethnic, sectarian, and other identity dimensions of conflict.  This requires a contextual and deeper understanding of the role of identity in causes of conflict analysis, peacemaking and mediation, in terms of implementing peace agreements, and creating the conditions for sustainable peace through assistance to statebuilding processes that can healthily regulate identity politics.

The purpose of the seminar is to explore leading approaches to the understanding and practical assessment of identity politics and the linkages between understanding and international engagement to facilitate more peaceful interactions in deeply divided societies.  Participants will emerge with a deeper ability to analyze the complexities of identity in conflict, to consider alternative approaches to and methods of engagement to help build peace, and ways the international community may navigate the difficult waters of statebuilding in which support for governance reconstruction, reform, and transformation is seen as a strategic approach to long-term mitigation of conflict.   The workshop features thematic exploration, case-specific specialization, and a supportive interactive learning environment.

Learning Objectives
Participants in the course will gain knowledge and applied skills in analysis of identity-based conflicts and international (especially UN) responses to build peace and viable states in deeply divided societies.  Among the themes the workshop will address are:

  • The complex nature of identity in deeply divided societies, and the roles of culture, social structure, political economy, and political institutions in the construction and reproduction of ethnic and sectarian identities;
  • The relationship between identity, ethno-nationalism, and the state in countries where identity-based organizations often gain greater loyalty from citizens that the national state;
  • Identity in the course of war, and the ways in which identities change during conflict and the implications of such changes for the prospects for peacebuilding;
  • The especially injurious effects of identity-based conflict on women and girls; How peace processes and peace settlements, often based on power-sharing formulas, affect the prospects for peacebuilding and statebuilding;
  • Approaches, methods, and lessons learned in elite/leadership and community-level engagement to build peace across lines of deep and enduring social divisions; and
  • The ways in which the United Nations, both the Secretariat and specialized organizations together with regional organizations and international non-governmental organizations, can improve monitoring, conflict prevention, peacemaking and mediation, development assistance and aid, and regional integration may create ways in which domestic processes.