Fourth Annual ECMI Summer School “National Minorities and Border Regions”

2014 Theme: Alternative Approaches to Reconciliation
Dates: 21-29 August 2014

Venue: Akademie Sankelmark, Oeversee in Schleswig Holstein

Download the programme

ECMI will hold the fourth annual Summer School on National Minorities and Border Regions (NMBR) between 21 and 30 August 2014. For the fourth consecutive time, prominent scholars from diverse European institutions and experienced practitioners will gather in the border city of Flensburg to deliver lectures and seminars, to share their expertise and exchange views and ideas with a group of international participants. 


The 2014 ECMI summer school programme aims at opening a discussion about the reasons behind the low levels of success of the reconciliation efforts following the long list of post-Cold War inter-ethnic conflicts. While taking into consideration past and present examples of reconciliation in Europe in various geographic areas, and reflecting on the existing reconciliation policies and mechanisms, the levels of their efficiency and quality of outcomes, the summer school will focus on identifying alternative approaches with a significant potential for bringing about positive societal change in divided societies. Examining different cases from the Balkan and Caucasus regions, analysing developments at the level of the EU and international policies and politics, and focusing the attention on the need for a fundamental shift of attitudes and practices (of all sides involved), the lectures, discussions, and presentations will aim to provoke an intensive ‘brainstorming’ debate among lecturers, practitioners and participants that would lead to new ideas and innovative policy perspectives and approaches.


ECMI will offer a residential programme combining academic training sessions with active networking and organized evening social activities at Akademie Sankelmark, located in Oeversee, Schleswig-Holstein (12 km from Flensburg). Akademie Sankelmark is a charitable organisation, whose members come mainly from the communities of northern Schleswig-Holstein. Along with the research and educational activities conducted by the foundation, the Akademie venue offers conference and boarding facilities, for various events organized by regional stakeholders.

Keynote speakers

Prof. James Hughes, London School of Economics

Prof. John Loughlin, University of Cambridge


Revising the existing knowledge on post-conflict reconciliation and evaluating the success/failure of current practices, as well as exploring the positive example of the German-Danish border region of Schleswig-Holstein, the Summer School will offer a platform for discussing both theoretical and field practices of reconciliation: e.g. economic empowerment, reconstruction of social capital, building of civic identities, mechanisms for accommodating religious, linguistic and cultural diversity. The summer course will aim at inter-disciplinary and inter-regional knowledge transfer between lecturers (experienced practitioners and academics) and participants (the new generation of scholars and practitioners), as well as among participants themselves.

Specific topics to be covered

  • Conflicts: theory, typology, conflict cycle
  • Peace building and post-conflict reconstruction
  • Traditional approaches to reconciliation: legal frameworks, standards, practices
  • Challenges to reconciliation (post-conflict reconstruction, implementation of international standards, transferability of models, poverty and development, etc.
  • Reconciliation in divided multicultural societies
  • Media and reconciliation
  • Success and failure of reconciliation (assessment and evaluation methodology, analysis of case studies presented by the participants and speakers)
  • Alternative approaches to reconciliation – theory and practice (economic empowerment, reconstruction of social capital, building of civic identities, mechanisms for accommodating diversity)

Planned Activities

The Summer School will include 3 elements: preparatory e-learning (online preparation for the course 1 month prior arrival), residential and alumni elements. 9 days of diverse, interdisciplinary and intensive residential element of the course will include:

  • A keynote speech delivered by a prominent scholar, academic lectures and practitioners‘ seminars
  • Interactive workshops conducted by trained professionals and discussion sessions
  • Presentations of the Summer School participants and group work
  • Social events planned for 6 evenings
  • Meetings and networking with local politicians, minority representatives, and youth groups
  • The diploma ceremony at Flensburg City Hall hosted by the Chairperson of the Flensburg City Council (Stadtpräsidentin), Ms. Swetlana Krätzschmar.

Eligibility and application procedures

The participants will include 25 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners of following professional background:

  • Students from relevant fields of studies (MA and PhD students)
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs, media (internationally and especially from conflict   sensitive areas)

Applicants are required to submit an online application form which includes:

  • General information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of motivation explaining the reason for their interest to participate in the course, and how they will utilize and benefit from this experience in the future
  • A brief abstract on one of the specific topics of the Summer School 2014, as listed above. The abstract must be max. 2000 characters long
  • Contact details (names, affiliations, addresses, emails and phone numbers) of two referees

The selection will be performed on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the topic. Diversity of the group in terms of professional background and country of origin will be encouraged.


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Tamari Bulia

ECMI founders:

The German Federal GovernmentThe German
Federal Government
The Danish GovernmentThe Danish
The Federal State Schleswig-HolsteinThe Federal State