Round table: War in Croatia 1991-1995

20. 10. 2007. In Zagreb, the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation organized a round table.

War in Croatia 1991-1995

In October 2007 At the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, members of the Scholars Initiative (SI) for the former Yugoslavia gathered at a round table. representatives of the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation (CHDR); scientists from Croatia and Serbia. The topic of discussion is the SI report “War in Croatia 1991-1995”. The round table was organized by the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation (CHDR) and the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in Salzburg (IHJR) .

The assembled scientists had the task of discussing and giving suggestions on the report of the group of scientists “War in Croatia” . The report is part of the international project “Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies: A Scholars’ Initiative”.

This round table represents the beginning of the activity of scientists gathered in CHDR on the policy of regional stability and reconciliation . Through the first joint dialogue, related to the analysis of the reports of their colleagues, they began, in a sybolical way with the first joint appearance in public, the process of reconciliation in the region.

The participants were dr. Mile Bjelajac (Serbia), Ph.D. Ozren Zunec (Croatia), Ph.D. Drago Roksandić (Croatia), Ph.D. Tvrtko Jakovina (Croatia), Ph.D. Ranko Končar (Serbia), Ph.D. Boris Kršev (Serbia), dr. Ljubiša Despotović (Serbia), Ph.D. Josip Jurčević (Croatia), Ph.D. Charles Ingrao (United States of America), Ph.D. Vjeran Pavlaković (Croatia), Ph.D. Darko Gavrilović (Serbia).

Report from the round table: "War in Croatia 1991-1995"

The meeting was chaired by: Darko Gavrilović , professor at the Universities of Banja Luka and Novi Sad and leader of CHDR; Vjeran Pavlaković , member of the CHDR Board of Directors.

During the round table in Zagreb, the previous work of the Scholars Initiative (SI) was discussed. Various IHJR projects around the world were also discussed. And the CHDR mission was shaped.

The participants expressed their opinion on the report from the mentioned project.

Scientists were of the opinion that this project and the scientific approach and cooperation of scientists could serve as a model for future work on writing a complete history of the War in Croatia. The conclusion is that it could be a good example of how we can write common narratives about the history of the region. Such a way of writing represents a turning point in the process of regional stability and reconciliation when it comes to the participation of scientists in that field.

Despite some common views, the discussion on the content of the report sparked a debate among the gathered scientists. There was a difference of opinion regarding the War in Croatia. The debate pointed to existing divisions and different points of view. At the same time, the need to overcome challenges in constructing a common narrative about the recent past.

Objective of the round table: "War in Croatia 1991-1995"

The round table aimed to challenge extreme nationalist myths and narratives about the breakup of Yugoslavia.

In order to achieve this, scientists insisted that it is necessary to obtain valid historical documents and sources.

Those gathered believe that it is necessary to break with the misuse of national myths in historiography. It is necessary to insist on comparing and consulting other scientific reports. At the same time, it is necessary to solve methodological problems and exclude national stereotypes when it comes to writing history textbooks.

The importance of the media and the importance of communicating the results of the reports that the scientific community has reached to the general public was highlighted.

Such initiatives are the beginning of a necessary dialogue that can enable long-term stability and coexistence.

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