The 4Rs Framework: Analyzing Education's Contribution to Sustainable Peacebuilding with Social Justice in Conflict-Affected Contexts
This paper lays out a theoretical and analytical framework for researching and reflecting on the peacebuilding role of education in conflict-affected contexts. The 4Rs framework recognizes that working toward “positive peace” (Galtung 1976, 1990) requires working toward peace with social justice and reconciliation, challenging dominant “security-first” and “liberal peace” models, and gaining a better understanding of how education might support these processes in building sustainable and peaceful postconflict societies. The 4Rs framework combines dimensions of recognition, redistribution, representation, and reconciliation to explore what sustainable peacebuilding might look like through a social justice lens. The paper addresses the cultural translation of these concepts, highlighting the need for locally embedded interpretations. Rather than a fixed theoretical model, the 4Rs approach is designed as a heuristic device that promotes a dialogue among key stakeholders on the dilemmas and challenges in the field of education in emergencies. We highlight the application of a 4Rs framework through a recent case study of Myanmar, which demonstrates both the interrelated connections and the tensions between the different “Rs.” Finally, we reflect on the challenges and limitations of the approach, and the tasks ahead.
The authors discuss their work in the Behind the Pages podcast episode embedded below: