General notions and aims

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

The question of tolerance is one of the most challenging in the contemporary world. As the modern discourse of tolerance historically appears together with those of pluralism, liberty and autonomy, the pluralistic society at the global level, and particularly in Europe, needs more than ever a serious rethinking of the concept itself, together with the contextualization of the forms and practices of toleration as a response to the new models of intolerance and discrimination.

A critical discourse on tolerance and toleration seems to have a particular weight in the context of post-war, but also post-socialist and post-Yugoslav societies of the Western Balkans. Many important steps towards the rebuilding of trust and integration of these societies have been already made, but there is still much work to be done. At the same time, the question is constantly re-proposed in the context of the European integration and enlargement process, where the new national, supranational and transnational political, juridical, cultural, economic and social patterns and democratic practices are still to be built, as a great challenge for the citizens of the European space. In that sense the Summer School aims not only to create the condition for a ‘transfer of knowledge’, but also to exchange experiences among lecturers and students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and other countries, local and regional universities.

General Agenda of the Second Year of the Summer School

The summer school is a three-year project. The first edition was hosted by the University of East Sarajevo, 15-21 September 2014; the second year of the School is organized by the University of Milan-Bicocca in September 2015 (Minorities in Democracy), and the third will take place at the University of Sarajevo in 2016 (Tolerance and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, from the Neighborhoods to the International Community) .

The lectures and seminars of the second edition will focus on the process of transnationalisation of democracy, relating to new forms of social and political threats and discrimination towards different minority groups; at the same time we intend to explore good practices based on recognition of their specific needs and rights, and on the politics of redistribution related to the political, economic, social and cultural resources, with a particular attention to the European societies, where the concept of tolerance remains fundamental. The European Union integration and enlargement process offers an excellent framework for problematizing and researching political and cultural, ethnic and national, religious and confessional, gender and sexual orientation minorities.

These and related topics will be under scrutiny during the intensive one-week training, which is an excellent forum for unpacking the multifarious and heuristic potential of the concept and the practice of tolerance. Classes combine long presentations and lectures followed by questions and answers, with participatory and dialogical teaching methods. The active role of the students is one of the main targets of this proposal, and the final discussion and the papers required for the evaluation are part of that aim.

The main framework of the lectures and seminars includes following themes:

  • Introduction to the concept of tolerance from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Minorities in democracy: legal status, cultural identity and political participation.
  • Ethnic, religious, economic and gender discrimination and the question of minorities.
  • Yugoslav wars 1991-1999: ethnonational and religious ‘minorities’ re-definition through violence and territorial partition.
  • From toleration to respect of the ‘other’: rebuilding the fundamental human and civic rights through the post-conflict reconstruction of trust.
  • The concept of tolerance and ‘minority question’: anti-Semitism, anti-Gypsyism, and Islamophobia in contemporary European societies.
  • Migrants in urban context: the case study of the city of Milan.
  • European Union politics and policies for minorities’ inclusion and participation.
  • Integration through education in view of new models of citizenship: a ‘cosmopolitan’ view.
  • Toleration and toler-action beyond the traditional concept of tolerance: a critical approach.

The Scientific Committee members and lecturers

University of Milan-Bicocca: Marina Calloni, Ilenya Camozzi, Sebastiano Citroni, Elena Dell’Agnese, Roberta Marzorati, Vincenzo Matera, Roberto Moscati, Fabio Quassoli, Tatjana Sekulić, Michela Semprebon.

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

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

Other Academic institutions: Gorazd Andrejč (Woolf Institute, Cambridge), Antonella Besussi (University of Milan), Enzo Colombo (University of Milan), Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (University of Eastern Piedmont), Milena Karapetrović (University of Banja Luka), Ade Kearns (University of Glasgow), Giovanni Picker (European University Viadrina), Paolo Segatti (University of Milan), Lino Veljak (University of Zagreb), Dragica Vujadinović (University of Belgrade), Pavel Zgaga (University of Ljubljana), Roberta Sala, (University of San Raffaele).

Summer School directors:

Dr. Tatjana Sekulić, University of Milan-Bicocca

Dr. Dejan Bokonjić, University of East Sarajevo

Prof. dr. Ugo Vlaisavljević, University of Sarajevo

The Summer School is organized with Patronage of the
Rectorate of the University of Milan – Bicocca
City of Milan

The Summer School is organized with Patronage of the Rectorate of the University of Milan - Bicocca, City of Milan

The Summer School is supported by the University of Banja Luka (B&H), University of Belgrade (Serbia), University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy), University of Glasgow (UK), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University of Milan (Italy), Woolf Institute – Cambridge (UK), University of Zagreb (Croatia).


The Summer School is founded in collaboration with the Research Centers Etnicos, Diaforà and Pragsia, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca.
body-logo-footerThe Summer School 2015 supported by
Mir Italia Srl

The Summer School 2015 supported by Mir Italia Srl