International Summer School 2018: Rethinking the culture of tolerance. Groups, conflicts, and reconciliation, Milan, Italy,

Description and objectives

The International Summer School ‘Rethinking the Culture of Tolerance’ is a joint program of the University of Milano-Bicocca, the University of Sarajevo, and the University of East Sarajevo.

The fifth edition of the School will take place at the University of Milano-Bicocca in September 2018, in collaboration with the University of Milano. The School will focus on the manifold question of collective identities and nationalism, seen both as producing forms of solidarity based on group identification, but also as legitimizing violence through dynamics of inclusion/exclusion.

Contemporary politics continues to be shaped by practices of ‘bordering, ordering, and othering’ inherent in the process of nation-state building. While this poses a great challenge to the project of a post-national Europe, one should not forget that the dramatic conflicts that marked the ‘short twentieth century’ were justified precisely on these grounds.

Nazism and Fascism produced an unimaginable amount of intolerance and discrimination that culminated in totalitarian practices of extermination, which targeted groups and individuals based on their ethnic, religious, political and biological identities. On the other hand, the structural violence inherent in Stalinism was one of the main causes of the breakdown of communist regimes in Europe in the 1990s, which led to the violent dissolution of composite states such as the former Yugoslavia.

What is the legacy of these experiences? What lessons can be learned? How can the European Union respond to the ongoing radicalization of new forms of fascism and right-wing movements within the European public space?

The School will explore issues of dealing-with-the-past and of reconciliation, drawing on the experience of post-WWII Europe and focusing on the political, social, juridical and psychological consequences of recent conflicts, particularly in reference to the legacy of the Yugoslav wars (1991-2001) and the current situation in the Middle East. Special attention will be devoted to the question of ‘perpetrators’ and the public acknowledgement of their criminal, political and moral responsibility as a crucial factor for the substantial reconciliation of societies that experienced violent conflicts.

The School involves scholars coming from Italian, Bosnian-Herzegovinian and other regional and European universities, offering a platform for an intensive one-week training aimed at unpacking the multifarious and heuristic potential of the concept and practice of tolerance.

Topics of the Summer School

Lectures and seminars of the fifth edition will combine different methodologies, and the participants will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about radical forms of nationalism and their dangers, but also to think up creative ways of resisting and fighting against them within the frame of an emerging European space. The lectures and seminars will focus on:

  • Post-national Europe and the ethnonationalisation of collective identities;
  • The Ventotene Manifesto 1941-1944: intolerance, discrimination and extermination versus peace and reconciliation in the frame of Europe’s reunification;
  • Beyond identity: nationalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism after the fall of the Berlin Wall;
  • Coming to terms with the totalitarian past of Nazism, Fascism, and Stalinism: counter-narratives and re-invention of the past;
  • ‘Bordering, ordering, othering’ reloaded in twenty-first century Europe;
  • The perils of political and cultural radicalization today: nationalism, populism and anti-politics;
  • Political, social, juridical and psychological consequences of past and recent conflicts;
  • The experiences of the Yugoslav wars (1991-2001) in the light of the EU integration process;
  • Middle East and lessons to be learned for conflict prevention and resolution;
  • Internally displaced persons, refugees, asylum seekers, returnees: pathways of survival;
  • Reconciliation and tolerance: rebuilding destroyed societies, reconnecting the space of everyday life, reconstructing trust and solidarity;
  • Resisting radicalization and fundamentalism: the European integration project and the limits of toleration.

These as well as other related topics will be under scrutiny during the intensive one-week training; classes combine presentations and lectures followed by discussions, with participatory and dialogical teaching methods. Active involvement of the participants is highly encouraged.

How to apply

All interested candidates should apply online using the following link:

We kindly ask all candidates to attach to the application form, or send to, a short essay (300 words) on why they want to attend the School. The list of the participants selected by the Scientific Committee will be published on 1st July 2018.

The selected candidates (with the exception of WB countries) are expected to pay a tuition fee of 250,00 Euros by 20th July 2018 following the procedure on: Please be sure to indicate the right code of the Summer School: TOLERANCE.

Organisation and requirements

Target audience: The School is open to MA and PhD students, post-docs and researchers. MA and PhD students from the universities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of Italy, are particularly welcome to apply.

Deadline for application: 20th June 2018; final selection of candidates will be published on 1st July 2018.

Period17-23th September 2018.

Place: University of Milano-Bicocca and University of Milano.

Number of Participants: 35 (15 from Bosnia and Herzegovina and other ‘Western Balkan’ countries, 10 from Italy, 10 from other parts of the world).

Fee: Participation in the fifth edition of the Summer School will be free of any charge for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. All other participants will pay a tuition fee of 250,00 Euros.

Travel and accommodationParticipants are expected to cover their travel and accommodation expenses by themselves. The University of Milano-Bicocca will offer a welcome kit and arrange an aperitif and a social dinner for all participants. A number of rooms will be made available at the University’s residences located in Building U12 (via Vizzola 5, Milan) and Building U22 (via Mantova, Sesto San Giovanni). For information about costs and terms of stay please write to: or

Language: The language of the Summer School is English. No language certificate is required for the application.

Lectures: Participants will take part in 26 hours of lectures and 14 hours of seminars and panel discussions.

Certificate and Evaluation: At the end of the Summer School each participant will be invited to reflect on a selected topic. Participants will also have the opportunity to write a final paper with the assistance of a supervisor, to be delivered by 15th December 2018. The Scientific committee approves the topics and the supervisors evaluate the papers. A certificate of attendance carrying 2 ECTS will be provided to all participants who fulfil the basic requirements of the Summer School. Additional 2 ECTS will be awarded following the paper evaluation.

Most lectures and seminars will be hosted by the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Milano-Bicocca. One day of the School will be organized by the University of Milano.


Directors of the Summer School

Tatjana Sekulić (University of Milano-Bicocca)

Dejan Bokonjić (University of East Sarajevo)

Jasna Bakšić-Muftić (University of Sarajevo)


Members of the Scientific Committee and lecturers

University of Milano-Bicocca: Marina Calloni, Ilenya Camozzi, Adolfo Ceretti, Elena Dell’Agnese, Carmen Leccardi, Marcello Maneri, Roberta Marzorati, Roberto Moscati, Lorenzo Natali, Fabio Quassoli, Tatjana Sekulić, Federico Giulio Sicurella, Guido Veronese.

University of East Sarajevo: Dejan Bokonjić, Darko Đogo, Goran Marković, Zlatiborka Popov-Momčinović.

University of Sarajevo: Dino Abazović, Mirjana Mavrak, Jasna Bakšić-Muftić, Asim Mujkić, Valida Repovac-Nikšić, Ugo Vlaisavljević.

Other Academic institutions: Abdalhadi Alijla (IMESC Canada), Roberta Altin (University of Trieste), Gorazd Andrejč (University of Maribor), Antonella Besussi (University of Milano), Anna Casaglia (University of East Finland), Enzo Colombo (University of Milano), Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (University of Eastern Piedmont), Mariachiara Giorda (University of Trento), Milena Karapetrović (University of Banja Luka), Nikolina Obradović (University of Mostar), Giovanni Picker (University of Brighton), Roberta Sala (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University of Milano), Paolo Segatti (University of Milano), Michela Semprebon (IUAV University of Venice), Lino Veljak (University of Zagreb), Dragica Vujadinović (University of Belgrade), Pavel Zgaga (University of Ljubljana).


The Summer School is organized under the Patronage of the

Rectorate of the University of Milano-Bicocca

Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Sarajevo, B&H


The Summer School is organized in collaboration with the Research Centers Etnicos, Diaforà and Pragsia, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca.

Program coordinator: Federico Giulio Sicurella, PhD