Rethinking peace education: a cultural political economy approach

Higgins, Sean and Novelli, Mario (2020) Rethinking peace education: a cultural political economy approach. Comparative Education Review, 64 (1). pp. 1-20. ISSN 0010-4086

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Through a case study of a peace education intervention in postwar Sierra Leone, this article seeks to contribute to the ongoing critique of dominant peace education approaches that seek attitudinal and behavioral change in conflict-affected societies. Specifically, the article interrogates “Emerging Issues,” a curriculum intervention developed in 2007–8 by UNICEF for teachers in Sierra Leone. It applies the analytical framework of Cultural Political Economy, an interdisciplinary theoretical current that extends traditional concerns of political economy with power and institutions to show their interaction with cultural processes of meaning making. The insights suggest that this approach to peace education might not be as benign as projected. Instead, we assert that it promotes a form of pacification derived from a decontextualized curriculum that treats victims as guilty and in need of attitudinal and behavioral change, while avoiding engagement with the structural and geopolitical drivers that underpin many contemporary conflicts.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 17:34
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2021 02:00

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