Tuesday, 15 February 2011

From post-war Bosnia to democratic transition in Chile

Meet Justin Frosini, who heads the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development in Bologna.

In his post below and then an embedded interview, Justin explains what the Center does, how it is associated with SAIS Bologna and why it is relevant to SAIS students.

The Bologna Center is proud of its ties to the CCSDD, which is working in areas of keen interest to many SAIS students.

The CCSDD was jointly founded by the University of Bologna's Faculty of Law and the SAIS Bologna Center. The Center runs research projects, seminars, study trips and summer programs that all mainly focus on countries undergoing a process of democratic and constitutional transition. Every year about 10 SAIS students intern at the CCSDD.

It has been an intense fortnight for the CCSDD. During the first week of February, a group of students went on the tenth study trip to Sarajevo during which they met, among others, the US and Italian Ambassadors to BiH and SAIS alumnus Marco Mantovanelli, now head of mission of the World Bank in BiH.
A CCSDD seminar
at SAIS Bologna

This year students got a poignant reminder of the tragic events of the war when they visited the town of Srebrenica, where the worst atrocity in post World War Two Europe took place.

There they had the chance to meet with Snaga Zene, an association founded by Branka Antic Stauber who courageously keeps the memory of what happened alive by witnessing the story of the women of Srebrenica. Local and international institutions based in Sarajevo also opened their doors to SAIS students, as for example the Constitutional Court of BiH and OSCE.

With no time to recover from such an intense experience in the Balkans, the CCSDD offered a new chance for students to go from transition “in the books” to transition “in action” by inviting Javier Couso, a Chilean professor of Political Science and Constitutional Law, who witnessed, first, Chile’s move to authoritarianism in ‘70s and ‘80s and then the transition to democracy of the 90s. This represented a unique opportunity for students to listen to a first-hand account of what is one of the most important events in Latin American history.

Justin Frosini

Here are some photographs submitted by Francesco Biagi, who coordinated the Sarajevo Study Trip:

Nelson Graves