Secondary trauma


By Noura Wafeek Syam Trauma is a situation that most humanitarian workers, police, military and social and community workers working in the context of humanitarian crisis face. The term ‘trauma’ originates from the Greek [...]

Secondary trauma2018-08-27T21:43:41-05:00

How can our feelings be set in motion to prevent war?


By Elina Francesca Rivera During the Reconciliation session of the Symposium, Dr. Sabina Čehajić-Clancy addressed the importance of rebuilding intergroup relations and trust through emotional processes, rather than cognitive ones, to advance reconciliation. Learning [...]

How can our feelings be set in motion to prevent war?2018-08-27T21:35:24-05:00

Not in Their Name


By Emma Plant Bosnia was not torn apart by ‘ancient ethnic hatreds’. Yes – people were killed because they were Bošniak, Croat or Serb but the war began because of modern political agendas. Communism [...]

Not in Their Name2018-08-27T21:07:48-05:00

Srebrenica: did the world learn the lesson?


By Laial Allaham Last week we went to visit to the well-known Srebrenica. We were inside the factory, which was the former base of the UN peacekeeping mission in BiH. In this factory thousands [...]

Srebrenica: did the world learn the lesson?2018-08-27T20:54:36-05:00

What am I taking with me?


By Nathalia Contreras Pardo Today, on the last day of the Symposium, I am reflecting on how much I learned during these past two weeks. I realized that what I thought would be a mainly academic [...]

What am I taking with me?2018-08-27T20:48:28-05:00

Practicality of Peacekeeping


By William Beaupre One of the main reasons that I applied to the IPSI symposium on post-conflict transitions in Sarajevo was because I wanted to learn more on how the process of bringing a [...]

Practicality of Peacekeeping2018-08-27T20:44:52-05:00

Migrant workers in Qatar


By Samantha Behlog As we discussed what constitutes ‘crimes against humanity’ during a lecture by Carolyn Edgerton on transitional justice, I reflected on my knowledge of the situation in Qatar in preparation for the [...]

Migrant workers in Qatar2018-08-27T20:41:04-05:00

Reflections on post conflict transitions


By G. As the 2018 IPSI Symposium on Post Conflict Transitions nears an end, it is a time to reflect upon the many lessons learned. For myself these lessons surround techniques for assisting in [...]

Reflections on post conflict transitions2018-08-24T21:10:40-05:00

The weakness of the perpetrator


By Mohammed Eid I stood in front of everyone introducing a guest during the Sarajevo Symposium on Post Conflict Transition. He is a known survivor of the notorious Omarska concentration camp during the war [...]

The weakness of the perpetrator2018-08-24T20:56:11-05:00



By Sarah Fizer I have previously defined resilience as the ability to keep moving forward and to remain strong in the face of adversity. This is a very individualistic approach to the term, as [...]


Thoughts on downtown Sarajevo


By Patrick Groeneveld-Meijer One of my favorite days of the symposium was the tour Carolyn Edgerton gave us of the war sites in downtown Sarajevo. I was immediately impressed by the energy she brought [...]

Thoughts on downtown Sarajevo2018-08-24T20:34:49-05:00

The symbology of ethnic nationalism


By Benjamin Kissin During our sessions at the symposium, we talked a lot about the dysfunction of the Bosnian state and how pervasive ethnic identity remains in the society. This wasn't overly noticeable in [...]

The symbology of ethnic nationalism2018-08-24T20:27:01-05:00

Finding role models


By Sara Magee Now that I have reached the end of my time here at the Symposium, I have found myself reflecting on the incredible people that I have had the opportunity to meet [...]

Finding role models2018-08-24T15:33:53-05:00

Building community among symposium participants


By Dakota Peterson A final bosanska kaffa with friends early in the morning after a night out. At this point I was half awake while the soft aroma of coffee filled the air around [...]

Building community among symposium participants2018-08-24T15:23:10-05:00

An eerie place


By Paul Piffaut Ici est mort le marsouin Marcel Amaru – mort pour la paix, a Polynesian from a remnant of France’s colonial empire died for peace, this small text stands on the wall [...]

An eerie place2018-08-24T15:10:18-05:00

The role of the ICTY in Bosnia


By Molly Morley and Paul Piffaut In 1993 the United Nations Security Council resolution 808 set up “an international tribunal with the goal of prosecuting the individuals responsible for violations of humanitarian law committed [...]

The role of the ICTY in Bosnia2018-08-24T15:03:03-05:00

Fetch won’t happen


By Emma Plant The war’s over. Many people lost. Some of us deserved it. It’s time to accept that. The war’s over. Many profited from its unsatisfying ending. Some who started it will never [...]

Fetch won’t happen2018-08-24T14:55:26-05:00

Address root causes of conflict? How?


By Elina Francesca Rivera For the Transitional Justice session of the 2018 International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions, Carolyn Edgerton assigned participants readings on a specific country’s transitions to peace [...]

Address root causes of conflict? How?2018-08-27T21:36:08-05:00

The injustice of justice


By Molly Morley I came into the symposium with little to no knowledge of transitional justice. My background is in the development of governance structures. In today’s session with Carolyn Edgerton, we discussed the [...]

The injustice of justice2018-08-21T10:52:13-05:00

Turning grievance into hope


By Nathalia Contreras Pardo “In the name of God the Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate, we pray to almighty God, may grievance become hope! May revenge become justice! May mother´s tears become prayers that [...]

Turning grievance into hope2018-08-17T10:44:04-05:00

Into the Neretva


By Samantha Behlog The Old Bridge, the iconic structure of the medieval Bosnian city of Mostar which was originally built in 1566 and has hosted a diving competition for over 450 years, which is [...]

Into the Neretva2018-08-17T10:37:56-05:00

Reflections on Sarajevo


By Laial Allaham Walking downtown in Sarajevo gives me feelings of peace and happiness. The similarity in the culture makes me feel at home. I came from Damascus where sitting for a cup of [...]

Reflections on Sarajevo2018-08-17T10:29:55-05:00

Wherever you look, there is value


by Dakota Peterson Today was a tough day. I snapped at a colleague, forced a friend to turn against me, and walked away with guilt after I was unable to treat another colleague’s feelings [...]

Wherever you look, there is value2018-08-15T12:32:02-05:00

Old vs. New


by Sara Magee After spending two weeks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, primarily in Sarajevo, there are a number of thoughts I can identify that keep returning to my mind. These have been related to [...]

Old vs. New2018-08-03T11:29:31-05:00

Listen to Your Heart


by Patrick Groeneveld-Meijer My time at IPSI has been fantastic. It has been a true honor and inspiration to meet influential practitioners from around the world. When I originally looked at the list of [...]

Listen to Your Heart2018-07-30T15:31:48-05:00

Rape: A Weapon of War Across the Globe


by Samantha Behlog The former president of Kosovo, in power from 2011 to 2016, Atifete Jahjaga, despite her hardships in reaching the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, arrived and delivered an empowering speech, [...]

Rape: A Weapon of War Across the Globe2018-07-30T15:21:22-05:00

Mission: Impossible


by Laial Allaham At the very first beginning of the Symposium, the group was divided, and the tasks were assigned. The mission: to design a roadmap for a transition in Colombia, Bosnia and Syria. [...]

Mission: Impossible2018-07-30T14:50:10-05:00

Shall justice be considered as a tool to achieve reconciliation?


by Nathalia Contreras Pardo During the justice session on the Symposium that question was asked by one of the speakers. Reflecting on that I truly believe that justice can strongly contribute to the reconciliation [...]

Shall justice be considered as a tool to achieve reconciliation?2018-07-19T07:30:06-05:00



by Noura Wafeek Syam Being different is always a challenge; however, it reflects your uniqueness and your contribution to the world and humanity. We all as human are different, different in character, attitude, culture, [...]


First Week of IPSI


by Tanya Vo The first week of IPSI touched on the complexities of building transitions in post-conflict areas. Arguably, what was learnt through the first week is that transitions, at the very heart, are [...]

First Week of IPSI2018-07-17T05:14:41-05:00

Stepping Into The Unknown


by G. I am working on a Masters of Science in Security Studies and my primary focuses have been on terrorism and hybrid warfare. Last winter a professor at my University suggested the IPSI [...]

Stepping Into The Unknown2018-07-17T04:47:36-05:00

Military Integration Solved?


by Molly Morley As part of the Symposium curriculum, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to visit the Peace Support Operations Training Center (PSOTC), a division within the Bosnian military. This visit unexpectedly [...]

Military Integration Solved?2018-07-16T16:53:32-05:00

Crime Scene: Sarajevo


by William BeaupreSarajevo is a beautiful city. Today was my first time really exploring and experiencing the sights, scenes and beauty of it. I was captivated by the city. To be completely honest, I have [...]

Crime Scene: Sarajevo2018-07-16T16:38:29-05:00

The Jewish Middlemen of Bosnia


by Benjamin Kissin I had the pleasure to celebrate Shabbat with members of Sarajevo's Jewish community. The community, which began in Sarajevo in the 1560s from Spain, is now quite small, due to both the [...]

The Jewish Middlemen of Bosnia2018-07-16T16:23:44-05:00

Reflections at the Beginning of the Sarajevo Symposium


by Sarah Fizer In only the first two days of the Sarajevo Symposium I have found the most interesting observation to be the perception of post-conflict transitions among my classmates. We are an amazingly [...]

Reflections at the Beginning of the Sarajevo Symposium2018-07-16T06:23:49-05:00

Frameworks for Accomplishment of Peace Processes


by Daniel Mesa Gómez Conflicts all around the world are composed of complex contexts and different actors. Solutions to such conflicts also need to be complex—involving series of negotiations and multiple implementation stages—and ideally lead [...]

Frameworks for Accomplishment of Peace Processes2017-09-01T16:45:50-05:00

Reimagining Bosnia and Herzegovina


By Philippa Meikle Preface: Participants of the inaugural Sarajevo Symposium were asked to participate in a day-long capstone simulation. All participants were presented with a fictional scenario of Bosnia and Herzegovina, five years in the [...]

Reimagining Bosnia and Herzegovina2017-09-01T16:45:50-05:00

The Value of Vulnerability in Negotiations


By Milica Njegovan It is a rare skill to make people laugh and gasp with amusement when speaking about post conflict transition. Hind Kabawat, founder of the Syria Center for Dialogue, Peace and Reconciliation and [...]

The Value of Vulnerability in Negotiations2017-09-01T16:45:50-05:00

Disarmament? Demobilization and Reintegration


By Daniel Mesa Gómez The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) processes are strategies used in United Nations peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations, although they have begun to be used independently by states and other institutions involved [...]

Disarmament? Demobilization and Reintegration2017-09-01T16:45:50-05:00

Shaping Peacemakers


by Milicia Njegovan On Monday, July 17th I saw the opening of the International Peace and Security Institute’s (IPSI) inaugural Symposium in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina (BiH). This is the first IPSI symposium to [...]

Shaping Peacemakers2017-09-01T16:45:51-05:00

Forgiveness and Hope


By: Karen Fancher The film screening of “Pretty Village” was a profound glimpse into the dynamics of reentering a community after suffering mass atrocities at the hands of one’s neighbors. I was impressed by [...]

Forgiveness and Hope2017-09-01T16:45:53-05:00

Creative Transitions in Central Sahel


By Daniel Mesa Gómez Audra Dykman explored a framework to holistic transitions by looking at the Central Sahel region as a case study to reflect on what has to be done in situations where a [...]

Creative Transitions in Central Sahel2017-09-01T16:45:53-05:00

Memory and Reconciliation


By Phillipa Meikle On the last day of the first week of our Symposium, we enjoyed a presentation regarding Memory and Reconciliation from Dr. Sabina Čehajić-Clancy, who is an Associate Professor of Political Psychology, Department [...]

Memory and Reconciliation2017-09-01T16:45:53-05:00

There Is No Such Thing as Universal


By Alexandria Farris While listening to the speakers today a thought that kept coming to mind was how often one person's idea of what's best for someone else isn't actually what's best for that person. [...]

There Is No Such Thing as Universal2017-09-01T16:45:53-05:00

Sarajevo Symposium – Day 2


By Philippa Meikle On the morning of the second day of the Symposium, all 31 participants and staff members engaged in an exercise run by Deborah Mancini which aimed at broadening our perspectives of governance and [...]

Sarajevo Symposium – Day 22017-09-01T16:45:53-05:00

Sarajevo Symposium – Day 1


By Alexandria Farris The first day of the Sarajevo symposium introduced the complexity of post-conflict societies. At first glance, a post-conflict transition may appear as a somewhat generalizable idea that all post-conflict transitions can [...]

Sarajevo Symposium – Day 12017-09-01T16:45:53-05:00