Center for Peace Studies

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

Main Aims and Objectives

The Centre for Peace Studies (CPS) grew out of various direct forms of peace-building in Western Slavonia, such as the Voluntary Project Pakrac, from 1993 to 1997). CPS aims at promoting the values of non-violence, social justice, respect for human rights, tolerance, and accepting differences through participative methods such as peace education, research, and through publicly advocating peacebuilding.

CPS operates through two complementary programmes – peace education and peace-building public policies, with a focus on human and minority rights, human security, combating discrimination, asylum rights, education policies, and on dealing with the past.

CPS considers that through building a network of educated citizens, who are skilled in employing the values of peace-building, it contributes to the process of creating an active and influential civil society. By strengthening active and interested citizens, CPS acts as a driving force in promoting a positive and sustainable peace. CPS wants to share its peace-building experience with all interested citizens at the local, regional, and global level.

Through public events and public actions, CPS aims to influence the public, the media and state structures, as well as encourage them to be more active when it comes to the processes of facing the past, articulating peace-building policies, and the peace-building programmes.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

Today, the Centre for Peace Studies deems the following activities to be fundamentally essential for reducing the unjust distribution of power within society, and for the active transformation of conflict:

  • Education for peace, non-violence, and on human rights;
  • Advocating peace education within the system of formal education;
  • Specialised education for implementing standards of protection of human rights, and for the implementation of antidicriminatory norms;
  • Transforming traditional concepts of security policies into concepts of the individual’s security;
  • Fight against xenophobia and racism, advocating global human solidarity through the affirmation of asylum rights, as well as supporting the integration of foreigners based upon the principles of interculturalism;
  • Advocating intercultural dialogue, and re-examining the traditional concepts of dominant identities;
  • Individual work with victims of human-rights violations, and helping them to create a normal life as fulfilled members of our society;
  • Reducing social-economic injustice and the exclusion of certain groups within society;

Where and with Whom

CPS is mainly working in Croatia, but also in other former Yugoslav states.

In Croatia, CPS works in post-conflict areas – western Slavonoija, Lika, Zadar hinterland – and in the broader region CPS is active in Montenegro (mainly with the Center for Development of civil society), Serbia (with YUCOM and Center for Cultural Decontamination), Bosnia and Herzegovina (with Human Rights House Sarajevo) and Slovenia (the Peace Institute).

Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation

Public Policy Reform

CPS follows all public policies dealing with issues identified as relevant within the extensive and positive context of peace-building. Those issues include – anti-discrimination, asylum rights, human security, interethnic relations, intercultural dialogue and peace education.

CPS works on public policies from the initial process of drafting and analysing a particular policy; through which, CPS advocates a change or modification of a policy; conducts research and make recommendations as a basis for a certain policy and/or advocates for a new one. CPS advocates for extensive social change in all of the aforementioned issues. Through education and advocative campaigns, CPS addresses the public; while through research, analysis, and expertise, CPS contributes to changes in legislation.

Peace Education Programme

CPS’s peace education programme consists of:

  • Peace Studies as a holistic interdisciplinary peace-education programme for interested citizens and citizenesses;
  • MIRamiDA Youth – a programme for invigorating young people who are active in their own communities;
  • Human-Rights Schools – a training programme for high-school students;
  • Trainings for Trainers as an empirical methodical trainings programme for disseminating empirical participative peace education.

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