Between ‘the paradox of liberalism’ and ‘the paradox of decoloniality’: education for peacebuilding in conflict settings

This article extends current debates in Education for Peacebuilding (EfP) in conflict settings. It presents and discusses two paradoxes I have observed when examining EfP literature and engaging in conversations with EfP scholars: ‘the paradox of liberalism’ and ‘the paradox of decoloniality’. I unpack these two paradoxes by engaging in conceptual synthesis and analysis and stitching together scholarly arguments in EfP, the larger field of peacebuilding, and decolonial thinking. I argue that by assuming liberal norms of conflict management, EfP scholarship is increasingly divorced from the complex material ontologies of contemporary conflicts. I caution against appropriative invocations of decolonial work in EfP, and I draw on actual examples to discuss their manifestations. I highlight tendencies to prioritise the onto-epistemological concerns of decoloniality over the political ones and to overlook the immediate needs of Southern populations. The article offers theoretically informed reflections and questions to stimulate further conversation.

Resource Info

Resource Type

Journal Article


Published by

Globalisation, Societies and Education

Authored by

Basma Hajir


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Education for Peacebuilding
Humanitarian Sectors - Education