The Integration of Education and Peacebuilding: A Review of the Literature

This review of the literature on the integration of education and peacebuilding forms part of the work of the Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, an ongoing partnership between the University of Amsterdam, the University of Sussex, Ulster University and UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) programme. The review identified three main rationales for the role of education in peacebuilding: education as a ‘peace dividend’; as a means of strengthening governance; and as an entry point for transformation and change. Speed and visibility of restoration of education services is important in terms of a ‘peace dividend’, but is only likely to contribute positively to peacebuilding if it is seen to benefit all, particularly where there have been inequalities or marginalization of certain regions or groups. This visibility is important, but it will only contribute to confidence in the state if it is provided in a way that generates trust between the state and all its citizens. Decentralization policies need to be carefully implemented to ensure that the overall impacts do not result in greater politicization of the education sector. From a peacebuilding perspective, four priority areas for education policymakers can be identified from the literature: protection of children and safe learning spaces, addressing inequalities, promoting social cohesion, and supporting reconciliation.

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Published by

Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding

Authored by

Alan Smith and Christine Ellison


Education for Peacebuilding