Education and the critique of liberal peacebuilding: the case of South Sudan

Daoust, Gabrielle (2018) Education and the critique of liberal peacebuilding: the case of South Sudan. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Contemporary peacebuilding debates centre on questions of effectiveness, relevance,
and sustainability, broadly contrasting a ‘liberal peace’ model and more ‘critical’
perspectives. The critical peacebuilding literature calls for a transformative approach
addressing inequalities and systemic violence underpinning conflict, promoting ‘local’
engagement, and responding to ‘everyday’ priorities. Education systems play central
roles in reproducing or challenging relations of power, privilege, and inequality
associated with violent conflict, and represent key sites of ‘local’ and ‘everyday’
engagement. However, the critical literature has paid limited attention to education’s
potential, and political, peacebuilding role. In this thesis, I explore the importance of
education in peacebuilding and argue that peacebuilding scholarship should seriously
engage with education. Using a case study approach and a critical cultural political
economy framework, I explore links between education, inequality, and peacebuilding
in South Sudan, through analysis of donor and government policies and interviews with
217 education and peacebuilding actors. I suggest that education policies and practices
reproduce political, economic, and cultural inequalities and violence and undermine
peacebuilding aims in three broad ways. First, education resource and service
distribution reproduces, justifies, and institutionalises geographic and intergroup
disparities and grievances associated with ‘real’ and perceived inequalities. Second,
‘local’ participation strategies based on ‘decentralised’ governance reproduce patterns
of political exclusion, exploitation, and mistrust between ‘local’ communities and
authorities. Third, formal education practices and informal narratives concerning
identity and difference, in relation to inequality, conflict, and peace, reproduce colonial
forms of oppression and violence. These findings demonstrate the complexity of
education’s peacebuilding role, expanding critical discussions concerning inequalities,
the ‘local’, and the ‘everyday’ and providing insight into specific sociopolitical
processes through which these can be addressed, both analytically and ‘practically’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ5511.2 Promotion of peace. Peaceful change
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2018 07:53
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2018 07:53

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