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From War to Peace in the Balkans, the Middle East and Ukraine

February 13, 2019

Daniel Serwer, Academic Director of Conflict Management at Johns Hopkins SAIS
Moderated by Kent E. Calder, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation and Director of the Reischauer Center at Johns Hopkins SAIS
With commentary by Majda Ruge, Foreign Policy Institute Fellow and David Kanin Adjunct Lecturer at Johns Hopkins SAIS

The Faculty Research Forum hosted Professor Daniel Serwer for a discussion at the launch of his timely new book “From War to Peace in the Balkans, the Middle East and Ukraine.” The book draws on Serwer’s long and distinguished career examining the origins, consequences and aftermath of the 1995 and 1999 Western military interventions that led to the end of the most recent Balkan wars. The study highlights lessons that can be applied to the Middle East and Ukraine, where similar conflicts are likewise challenging sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“[The book] is intended to be an accessible treatment of what makes war and how to make peace that will appeal to all readers interested in how violent international conflicts can be managed,” Serwer told the audience.

His remarks were followed by thoughtful commentary from Foreign Policy Institute Fellow Majda Ruge on the questions raised in the book and the key lessons learned from the Balkans. Like Serwer, she emphasized the utmost importance of political leadership in not only choosing sound policies and implementing them correctly but also shaping public opinion and easing or increasing ethnic tensions.

“It is now almost 25 years since I first arrived in Sarajevo during the war,” Serwer reflected, “…we still face many problems that bedeviled the region at that time. We made a great deal of progress, but we still have a long way to go. Those time dimensions, when we think about the Middle East and Ukraine today, are going to be with us for a long time. That is why keeping the dialogue open about these issues is vital.”