IPCR Students Depart for the Balkans, June 18

By schwartzsa | June 9, 2011

International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) students will depart for Serbia on June 18 for the 10 day travel portion of 3-credit course, Kosovo: Minority Rights, Nationalism, and Ethnic Conflict. Led by Alex N. Grigorev, Adjunct Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Dr. Warren R. Haffar, Dean of International Affairs and Director of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program, the course offers graduate students in the IPCR program the opportunity to explore key aspects of the Serb-Albanian conflict over Kosovo. The travel portion includes visits in Belgrade, Pristina, the divided city of Mitrovica as well as a majority-Serb municipality in Kosovo.

Students will meet with officials from the Serbian and Kosovo governments and parliaments to better understand the history, politics and ethnic relations in the Balkans, causes of ethnic conflict, problems of post-conflict institution building, the destructive role of nationalist politics, and remaining challenges in resolving the conflict. Thanks in part to Grigorev’s connections, students will gain special audiences with key officials from both perspectives, including Gordana Čomić, Vice-President of the National Assembly of Serbian Parliment, Oliver Ivanović, State Secretary of Serbia,Edita Tahiri, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, and Bajram Rexhepi, Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo. The Swiss Ambassador to Serbia Erwin Hofer is organizing a reception at his residence in Belgrade to mark the Arcadia University visit.

Grigorev is a Balkan Specialist who has worked in the region organizing dialogues between leaders of various ethnic groups for the past 16 years. He has been credited with achieving important interethnic agreements in his previous role as Executive Director at Project on Ethnic Relations. In his current position as the President of the Council for Inclusive Governance, he has been working on the issues of Serb accommodation in Kosovo, looking at what it will take to preserve the Serb community—politically, legally and economically.