Skip to Main Content












You are in the main content
Cover Photo Image

Identity and Conflict in Austria, Croatia and Bosnia


Graz, Austria, Split, Croatia, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Program Description

Identity and Conflict in Austria, Croatia and Bosnia explores the ways in which a person’s sense of belonging to a group or connection to a place impacts the ways that they act politically. To do this, we will examine the roots of ethnicity, nationality and citizenship as well as the variety in the way that people experience belonging to a group and act upon that feeling of belonging. These goals are pursued in two courses across four cities: Vienna, Graz, Split and Sarajevo. The first course examines in a broad way a variety of issues related to cultural, political and geographic groupings. The second course focuses more narrowly on what happens after ethnic and national wars, in particular the challenges and means of rebuilding societies that are stable, just and democratic. The program is in two phases. The first phase will combine classroom instruction with guided and unguided exploration of Graz. There will be the opportunity on the weekend to travel independently. The second phase will be a week long study trip to Croatia and Bosnia. In addition to enjoying their beautiful coasts and mountains, students will have a chance to see firsthand the challenges of rebuilding torn countries.

Location Description

The course begins in Vienna, a multicultural city at the center of a broad empire. Vienna’s place in the empire made it one of the most important cities in Europe, and it continues to be a connecting point among East, West and South. The majority of the course takes place in Graz, the “Green Heart of Austria”, which lies on the border between the German and Slavic portions of the old empire and continues to be a cultural, economic and political link between Central Europe and Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia to the south. Graz is the second-largest city in Austria and is home to six universities totaling more than 40 thousand students. It is situated between the Alps and the rolling hills of the wine country that borders Slovenia. Finally, we will take a week-long excursion into the former-Yugoslavia, first to the coastal city of Split, with its Roman, Italian and Croatian roots as well as gorgeous coastline, and then to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The two cities draw their beauty from centuries of cultural exchange, although their presence on the boundary between empires and states has also brought great tragedy and suffering.


John Hulsey | | Political Science


Accommodation will be in hotels and one very nice hostel in Vienna. All have ready internet access.Meals will be covered in the program fee.

Additional Items to Consider

The courses meet major requirements for POSC, INTA and IdLS students.

The most successful students came with the attitude that they wanted to engage with new people and cultures with an open mind.

Application Process

For this program, students are required to submit the following material(s):

For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.

Official transcript required for first-semester transfer students and non-JMU students.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


POSC 371: Topics in Comparative Politics: Politics of Post-Conflict Societies (3 credits)

POSC 361: Topics in International Relations: Politics of Identity, Place and Conflict (3 credits)