Education and ‘critical’ peacebuilding: The case of South Sudan

21 February, 2018
Time: 17.00-19.00
Room: Drama Studio
UCL Institute of Education (20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL)

Dr Gabrielle Daoust, University of Sussex

In contemporary peacebuilding debates, ‘critical’ perspectives call for transformative approaches that address inequalities and systemic violence underpinning conflict, promote ‘local’ engagement, and respond 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 peacebuilding literature has paid limited attention to education’s peacebuilding role. Drawing on findings from research in South Sudan, I explore the importance of education in peacebuilding, and argue that peacebuilding scholarship should seriously engage with education. In this presentation, I discuss the ways in which education policies and practices reproduce political, economic, and cultural forms of inequality and violence and undermine peacebuilding aims, through resource and service distribution, ‘local’ participation strategies, and formal practices and informal narratives concerning identity and difference. These findings provide insights for ‘critical’ peacebuilding discussions of, and responses to, questions of inequality, the ‘local’, and the ‘everyday’.

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