The Basque Country has experienced protracted conflict described as “Europe’s longest war” with roots that can be traced to the time of Spanish Civil War and before. On 20 October 2011, ETA announced a ‘definitive cessation of its armed activity’ and the peace process could start. Despite the Basque people’s strong support for dialogue and negotiations, the Spanish and Basque governments could not agree on the nature of peace process.
Historical grievances, victimization, issue of prisoners, requests for greater autonomy and the lack of political will have placed the peace process at a standstill. However, different actors have been implementing various initiatives to support peace process.
During our stay in the Basque country, we will engage in conversations with organizations/ institutions/individuals such as the following:
- The Basque Parliament
- Secretary General of the Peace Process in the Basque Country
- Former President of the Basque Country
- Mondragon Cooperative
- Fernando Buesa Foundation
- Guernica Peace Museum and La Casa de Juntas
- Guggenheim Museum
- Key scholars/practitioners/activists working on peace process and reconciliation in the Basque Country
The Basque Country study abroad trip will explore not only the consequences of the conflict, but also steps that are being taken to ensure sustainable peace and social justice. We will also examine various social practices and initiatives of counteracting the negative effects of violence through education, justice, policymaking, art and commemoration. We will also visit different cities of political, historical and cultural significance such as Bilbao, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Vitoria and Guernica. This course will be an opportunity to apply various conflict resolution theories and concepts, network with representatives of local and international organizations, engage with people on the ground and immerse in the rich culture of the region.
The value of this experiential learning program is that it provides an opportunity for its participants to listen and learn from the local people about what is going on the ground. The program will also provide a space in which each participant will be able to reflect on and re-examine his/her own assumptions on conflict resolution theory and practice, and explore innovative ways of dealing with complex issues. This program will be an opportunity to apply various theories and concepts, network with representatives of local and international organizations, engage with people on the ground and immerse in the rich culture of the region.
Final Payment Due: Friday, Febrary 24 by 5:00 p.m.
Borislava Manojlovic is the program’s instructor. She is the Director of Research Projects and Adjunct Professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University. Borislava is an expert in conflict analysis and resolution, dealing with the past, education in post-conflict settings and atrocities prevention. She worked on minorities and reconciliation related issues with the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in both Croatia and Kosovo for more than seven years.
The experience of wars in the Balkans in the 1990s and her desire to understand the roots of violent conflicts have shaped her life trajectory and dedication to conflict prevention and peacemaking. Before joining the School for Diplomacy and International Relations, she has been the Director of Research with the Genocide Prevention Program at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University. She also serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and she is a member of IAGS Executive Board. IAGS is a top scholarly organization in the field of genocide and conflict prevention. She is also a member of the Agirre Center in the Basque Country, a prestigious research collaborative of top scholars from Columbia University, Seton Hall University, George Mason University and the University of the Basque Country.