Violence, Displacement, Cohabitation
Nicosia 10-22 July 2016
Following the success of the 2014 and the 2015 International Summer Schools in Peace and Conflict Studies, the Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus, announces the Third International Summer School, which is organized in collaboration with the European Consortium for Political Research, the International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The 2016 focus theme will be "State Sovereignty and Conflicted Commons: Violence, Displacement, Cohabitation."The purpose of the Summer School is to bring together leading academics in the interdisciplinary field of Peace and Conflict Studies withpractitioners and students who are working in this area from varied disciplines, locations, and orientations.
Theme & Objectives
The rise in violent conflicts, the fragmentationof many states and the forced displacement of peoplearound the globe have raised anew questions on the appropriation of resources and, more so, of the commons. The question of the commons concerns not just the status of areas and resources where claims to sovereignty and exclusivity are denied or constrictedbut also the presence and future of communities and life worlds that are established around them. It underscores the complex entanglements – harmonious and/or conflictive – between spaces, resources, and human and non-human existence.
  • What common resources communities valorise and deem worthy of protection and how do they negotiate ownership, access and usage?
  • How does the race over resources and the drive for economic growth oftenclash with the global ‘endeavour’ for peace?
  • Under what conditions do states decide to contest, exploit, share or fight over local, regional or global commons?
  • What commons do people choose to remember and what to forget, and what forms of community develop around such collective memory or amnesia?

Conflicts over naturalresources (land, water, minerals, airetc.) as well as social resources (cultural heritage, education, internet etc.) involve a range of actors and need to be examined at different levels of analysis. The mobility of people, capital and arms further exacerbates conflicts over the commons and creates collaborative networks that challenge rooted communities. Depletion of resources, but also their territorialisation and ethnicizationare historicalmanifestations of the plight of many communities that experience how not only forms of exploitation but also of protection can lead into forms of subjection. Increasing militarisation and displacement have become a means to ‘secure resources’ for some whiledenying them for others, and preciouslocal resources oftenbecome mere commodities in the supply chains of globalised markets. Whilst state and international institutions are in continuous negotiation amongst each other as well as with non-state actors such as corporations, local communities are often left out of the arena or given only token representation. All these questions emerge here in Cyprus where the fragmentation, contestation and even dissolution of the commons can be grasped through historical, social, political and ecological analyses but also experiential encounters and fieldtrips. During our Third Summer School, issues concerning the legitimacy of appropriating commons, the negotiation of institutions regulating their use, their securitisation and ownership, their entanglement with state sovereignty or world heritage, their legitimation of displacement or cohabitation, will be comprehensively studied.


Study Areas & Structure

The Summer Schoolwill focus on a number of areas of study and research that relate to the problems of postconflict peacekeeping like, for example, political economy, social psychology, political theory, sociology, political ecology, environmental studies, gender and conflict, critical geography, religion, social anthropology, area studies, urban studies and international relations. The structure of the Summer Schoolwill be critically oriented – as opposed to discipline oriented – for the overarching purpose of: a) debating and discussing a critical research and policy agenda for peace and conflict studies going forward; b) creating a networking environment that will break down many of the isolating walls of contemporary, discipline-centred academia; c) attracting leading figures in the field and researchers interested in sharing ideas across place and discipline; d) responding to the critical question of what type of local, national regional and international political arrangements might be suitable for a postliberal, postcolonial, post-cold war era. 


Target Group

The Summer School seeks to attract reflective research students (primarily intended for MAs or PhDs), preferably with field experience, working on a broad range of issues pertaining to conflcitand peacebuilding. The aim is to broaden rather than restrict input and to bring together individuals with different disciplinary backgrounds and professional experiences. 



The Summer School will be taught in intensive morning and afternoon sessions. It will be organized around lectures, seminars and fieldtrips led by experts. It will also include roundtablesand discussion sessions with scholars and practitioners. There will be time allocated for student consultation, while one day will be allocated to students to present their own research work and receive feedback from the teaching faculty.


ECTS Credits awarded

There will be a choice between 5 ECTS credits and 10 ECTS credits upon succesful completion of a 7000 words research project.

ΚΠΕ630 Peace & Conflict Studies Research Seminars (5 ECTS): This is an intensive two-week course, based on the annually selected theme of the Summer School in Peace and Conflict Studies. The confirmed teaching programme will be circulated in Spring together with a selected reading list from the faculty. Attendance at the lectures, seminars, roundtables and field trips of the summer school is compulsory. Students will be encouraged to bring into the Summer School their own relevant research interests and will be asked to produce short reflection papers and present them to their peers and the teaching faculty.

ΚΠΕ631 Peace & Conflict Studies Research Paper (5 ECTS): This is an optional course of the Summer School in Peace and Conflict Studies. Students will be required to write a 7,000-word Research Paper submitted a month after the completion of the Summer School, on a topic that is relevant to the annual theme of the Summer School. The Research Paper will be supervised and assessed by members of the teaching faculty of the Summer School. 


Teaching Faculty

International Teaching Faculty: Cristina D'Alessandro (Paris School of International Affairs), Rebecca Bryant (LSE), Klaus Dodds (Royal Holloway, University of London), Yael Navaro (University of Cambridge), Julian Reid (University of Lapland).

Local Teaching Faculty: Costas M. Constantinou, Maria Hadjimichael, Maria Hadjipavlou, Mete Hatay, YiannisPapadakis, Charis Psaltis, Socrates Stratis. 


Topics to be Covered

  • Sovereignty and the politics of commoning
  • Slow violence and environmental degradation
  • Land and ocean grabbing
  • Arctic and Antarctic commons
  • The militarisation of the commons
  • Contesting, sharing and managing limited resources
  • Common heritage destruction and reconstruction
  • Remembering and forgetting of past atrocities
  • Buffer zones as conflicted commons
  • Feminisms and the genderingof conflict
  • Urban commons
  • Everyday diplomacy and the politics of co-existence 
Location & Cyprus
The summer school will take place in Old Nicosia, the heart of Cyprus's divided capital, which provides a vibrant environment, as well as the opportunity for social and cultural entertainment during day and night-time. The intractable Cyprus Problem provides a useful backdrop to study issues of peace and conflict. In the heart of a divided city, participants will be able to experience first-hand peace and conflict predicaments and reflect on wider issues from around the globe.
Organizing Committee
Costas M. Constantinou, Maria Hadjimichael, Maria Hadjipavlou.