Thursday, 14 February 2013

Workshop and Simulation: European Regime Changes

What were the social and political causes for the political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s?
How can the national histories of transitions be placed in the context of other political movements?
What consequences did the regime change have on the individuals and on the societies as a whole?

These were the guiding questions of a workshop hosted by Humanity in Action Germany, February 3-9, 2013. A participant group of 14 engaged citizens aged 25 to 56 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Turkey explored the dynamics and repercussions of the regime changes in Europe in the late 1980s.

The first part of the workshop consisted of discussions and testimonies from participants, eyewitnesses and others experts. Field trips to the Berlin Wall memorial and the Stasi prison memorial showed examples of transitional justice and public remembrance in the unified Germany

In the second part, the group played a regime change simulation developed by Humanity in Action Senior Felloes in 2009. This simulation is situated in a fictitious country in the midst of political upheaval and regime change. The society's dominant interest groups come together to negotiate a course of action that is acceptable to all. Participants are asked to represent one of these interest groups.

The simulation manual is available for download in the Humanity in Action Teaching Tool Library.

The workshop was supported by the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme.