Courses and lecturers

The First term of the Programme awards 30 ECTS and consists of  6 cluster courses, three elective seminars and a midterm exam. In this phase students are based at the University of Sarajevo, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The lectures are held by over 40 professors and experts from partner universities, IGOs, and NGOs. 

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PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY (5 ECTS)

This educational cluster covers the theoretical and philosophical foundations of human rights and democracy. It deals with the specifics of the philosophical approach to human rights, as opposed to the legal, social or political one. Also, the course offers the introduction to the international human rights law and the United Nations human rights system. Different disciplines of philosophy and different schools in relation to human rights are presented, alongside with the historical construction of the concept. The course also provides insight into the contemporary debate over the foundations of human rights. Furthermore, it offers the basis and interpretation of the philosophical terminology used in the interpretation of human rights, as subject/object, politics–law–morality, individual/ collective, right/obligation-duty. The contractual theories and human rights concept relation is addressed, as well as the contemporary philosophy of human rights. Courses give introduction into the modern concepts of democracy and human rights providing the students with elementary understanding of the modern age democracy and human rights. The modern age understanding of man; natural rights; parliamentary, liberal democracy; necessity and freedom; complexity of modern democracy and human rights as well as contemporary theories of democracy and theories and practices of citizenship, as, paradoxically, the basis for human rights are critically examined.

DEMOCRACY (5 ECTS)

Democracy and human rights will be treated considering the framework of European transition processes after the Cold War, within the politics of post-communist transition and the impact of both the communist collapse and the process of EU enlargement. Starting from the EU relations with Central/East European countries during the Cold War, lectures will analyse the EU reactions to the fall of communism. Then, the evolving relations from cooperation to association will be focused, along with Agenda 2000, the accession negotiations and the impact of conditionality into the process of East-Central European countries adaptation to the accession requirements. The cluster will concentrate also on countries not involved in the first and second wave of the EU enlargement, but deeply affected by instability, particularly the Balkans. In this context the widening and deepening of EU will be discussed while meeting needs and difficulties of post-communist transition. The problems of democratization, consolidation, stabilization, and enlargement will be considered within this framework of reference with comparative approaches between the EU and the post-communist societies.

NATIONALISM, ETHNICITY AND RELIGION (5 ECTS)

The aim of this course is to promote an open-minded attitude to diversity, and reducing stereotypes and prejudices towards “others”. Nationalism as a theoretical concept with practical implications is explored in both its pre-modern and modern manifestations. Issues of ethnicity and migration in Europe and worldwide are also considered as well as stereotypes and ethnic conflicts within divided societies and the major tools for their prevention or limitation. The concepts of state, fear, and security, and their mutual relation and interdependence will be examined through the main theoretical approaches. Furthermore, the intersectionality of identity formation so as to include not only gender and nation but also other aspects of identity (such as race and class) is in the focus of the cluster as well. The secession and conflicts in Yugoslavia will be studied, as well as the postconflict institution building process. Further on the role of religions and their relation with nationalism, ethnicity, identity and culture will be discussed, with specific attention to the Balkan cases.

ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ECTS 5)

The aim of this cluster is to provide students with knowledge of international legal standards in the field of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), and to relate these standards to broader theoretical debates in philosophy, political theory and economics. The principle that all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated is now central to the international normative framework for the protection and promotion of human rights. The course will address the reasons for increased international support for the idea of economic, social and cultural rights; consider foundational debates relating to the accommodation of these human rights within liberal political theory; and introduce students to the key international legal instrument in this field – the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The substantive content of economic, social and cultural rights – as well as the nature and scope of international legal obligations of states in respect of these rights – will be analyzed in the light of authoritative interpretative statements, including the jurisprudence of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Key thematic issues, including poverty, trade and development, and the role of civil society and NGOs, will also be considered.

MECHANISMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION AND IMPLEMENTATION (ECTS 5)

The focus of the course is on implementation and enforcement of human rights. This is developed on the universal level of the United Nations as well as the regional level of the Council of Europe, OSCE and the European Union. The European system of human rights and the human rights policies of the European Union are given particular attention. Furthermore, the national implementation of international human rights in SEE is studied with particular emphasis on human rights on post-conflict situations, taking the examples of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Kosovo. Accordingly, there are courses on implementation of universal human rights, with a particular focus on disappearance in conflict situation and on torture, on enforcement of human rights in the European system, on role of civil society and rule of law on implementation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on implementation of women’s rights and on transitional justice and humanitarian law.

The objective of the Cluster is to provide students with a better understanding of the implementation and enforcement of human rights at different levels of practice. As different systems are compared, they can also better understand the interrelationship between the different levels of human rights protection. Furthermore, students should become capable of advising how best to use the variety of human rights instruments in particular cases. They should be able to link what they learned in previous clusters with the aspect of implementation and enforcement. Students, who are often concerned about how to translate the knowledge gained in several clusters in practice, in this part as the final part of the teaching programme should gain an understanding of the manifold ways of implementation of human rights, but also the obstacles and restrictions which might have to be faced in this context.

METHODOLOGY OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND ACADEMIC WRITING (ECTS 4)

The cluster is designed to provide students with comprehensive theoretical knowledge and a wide range of practical skills concerning the methodology of research in the social sciences, particularly in the field of democracy and human rights. By placing theory alongside practical and applied experiences, the cluster aims to enable students to grasp the fundamental principles of social research, understand the conventions and challenges of academic writing, and to identify strengths and weaknesses of different research methods and data-gathering techniques. In this sense, the cluster is not only intended to strengthen the ability of students to elaborate relevant and viable research projects, but also to enhance their academic and professional profiles.

ELECTIVE COURSES (ECTS 1)

1. GENOCIDE AND GENOCIDAL ATTROCITIES IN THEORY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

Following a brief general introduction to the history of genocide science and more specifically the development of international criminal law, students will be familiarized with the main forms of genocidal atrocities on the basis of historical events and occurrences. The students shall in particular analyze the Armenian genocide, Holocaust, Rwandan genocide and Cambodian Mass Killings. Following that, legal definitions and understanding of the crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide as established in the UN Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide will be discussed, compared and analyzed, both from the legal and theoretical point of view. Specific legal terms such as intent, motive, genocide-in-part etc. shall be introduced and thoroughly discussed. The second part of the course will be dedicated to the introduction to different aspects of genocide science, including the theoretical approaches from a historical, cultural, social and economic perspective, as well as some recent developments in the field of prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide. The last part shall cover the specific forms of genocidal crimes, their circumstances of occurrence and their consequences for the victim population. The students shall reflect upon terms such as ethnic cleansing, gendercide, elitocide, war amongst the people etc. Within this part, the students shall learn about the recent conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the special importance of the ICTY verdict on the proven genocide in Srebrenica for the international prevention and detection mechanisms.

 

2. LIFE STORIES AND DIALOGUES

All around us we find stories. Through stories we express, constitute and reconstitute our selves: our attitudes, values, belongings, emotions. Through stories we communicate and learn about others. This multilidialogic narrative activity expresses our sense of time, meanings we ascribe to the world and relationships towards others. This seminar aims to provide students with knowledge of the ‘life story telling model’, a great resource for the exploration of social phenomena through lived life experience. We will approach personal narratives as socially situated practices (Dunn 2017), which in general have potentiality both to reinforce dominant social structures and/or to disturb them, disclosing silenced voices and offering an alternative perspective on events. While storytelling is today used for a variety of purposes, this seminar will approach it in three specific, but interrelated ways: as a research method, a dialogue/empowerment tool, and a tool for seeking social and political changes. The concept will be introduced through an eclectic body of theoretical approaches from the field of philosophy, anthropology, critical literal theory, memory studies, gender studies, also incorporating documentary films and existing/published/exhibited life stories as tools for work and discussion. In this way the seminar offers the possibility to address ERMA subject themes (e.g. socialism/communism and its end, conflict, transition(s), nationalism, gender relations, etc.), from the perspective of “ordinary” people and also enables personal reflection on those phenomena. Finally, throughout the seminar it will be shown how in the context of diverse transitions and conflicts in South-East Europe, and particularly the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslav region, individual stories may help us go beyond paradigmatic competing narratives and offer relevant insights and an alternative vision on events, a source of resistance and an inspiration for social and political change.

 

3. THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW 

The course offers students an overview of the key principles, concepts and instruments aimed at protecting the rights of refugees at the international level. It will introduce to students the legal framework at the international level and the relevant jurisprudence by international courts (in particular the European Court on Human Rights). Students will furthermore be familiarised with general applicable principles for asylum procedures and will also work in groups on asylum cases.

ALL LECTURERS

The First term of the Programme awards 30 ECTS and consists of  6 cluster courses, three elective seminars and a midterm exam. In this phase students are based at the University of Sarajevo, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The lectures are held by over 40 professors and experts from partner universities, IGOs, and NGOs. 

 

THEORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

Asim Mujkić, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marco Balboni, University of Bologna, Italy

Zdenek Kavan, University of Sussex, England

Gvozden Flego, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Igor Štiks, Faculty of Media and Communications, Belgrade, Serbia

 

DEMOCRACY

Marco Borraccetti, University of Bologna, Italy

Angela Santese, University of Bologna, Italy

Victor Bojkov, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

Nina Belyaeva, Higher School of Economics, National Research University Moscow, Russia

Zrinjka Peruško, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ETHNICITY, NATIONALISM AND RELIGION

Milan Podunavac, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Anna Krasteva, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria

Dejan Jović, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Dino Abazović, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nebojša Vladisavljević, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Daša Duhaček, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Florian Bieber, University of Graz, Austria

 

ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

Nikolaos Tzifakis, University of Peloponnese, Greece

Mladen Domazet, Institute for Political Ecology, Zagreb, Croatia

Nenad Marković, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, North Macedonia

Kalliopi Chainoglou, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

Rachel Kurian, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

Victor Bojkov, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

 

INTERNATIONAL MECHANISMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION

Wolfgang Benedek, University of Graz, Austria

Gerd Oberleitner, University of Graz, Austria

Hans Joachim Heintze, University of Bochum, Germany

Iavor Rangelov, London School of Economics, Great Britain

Manfred Nowak, University of Vienna, Austria

Jasminka Džumhur, Human Rights Ombudsperson, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

METHODOLOGY

Federico Giulio Sicurella, University of Milan, Italy

Dženana Husremović, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mario Hibert, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fedja Kulenović, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Valeria Verdolini, University of Milan, Italy

Alina Trkulja, PhD student, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Amila Madžak, MA, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

ELECTIVE COURSES

Lisa Heschl, PhD, European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, University of Graz (UNI-ETC), Austria

Nejra Nuna Čengić, PhD, Visiting fellow at the Centre for South East European Studies, University of Graz, Austria

Dennis Graz, PhD, Legal Expert

 

GUEST LECTURERS:

Igor Milinković, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

ALUMNI GUEST LECTURERS:

Antonija Petričušić, University of Zagreb

Lamija Tiro, TRIAL, Intern

Ena Bavčić, Civil Rights Defenders