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Title: Learning about war and peace in the Great Lakes region of Africa
Author: Bird, Lyndsay
ISNI:       0000 0001 3465 0026
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2006
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Two thirds of the world's conflicts are in Africa. In particular, the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Tanzania), continues to see conflicts which are complex, extreme and seemingly intractable. By exploring the narrative experiences of those most affected by the conflicts in the region, specifically Burundi, DRC and Rwanda (refugees living in camps in North Western Tanzania) the thesis examines to what extent educative processes (holistic formal and informal learning processes) affect the identity construction/shifts that lead people to engage in violent conflict. These educative processes are located within a framework of 'structural levels' of society. These reflect the likely gaps in information acquisition and identity construction between individuals and organisations 'at the top' of society and communities at grassroots levels. The qualitative methodology adopted gave the necessary flexibility and potential for opportunistic data collection essential in an environment where the unexpected is a daily occurrence. Through focus group discussions, depth interviews and questionnaires, the research identified different information circuits by which people learnt about conflict. In opposition to the common perception that formal schooling effects change, the findings indicated that the primary mechanisms were oral/aural, such as gossip, traditional story telling and radio. Individual and collective identities were constructed through this process and the research identified how identities could be shifted through different formal and informal educative processes - often through indoctrination or coercion. The thesis indicates how the synergy between educative processes, identity and trust could form the basis for alternative strategies for peace building within a refugee context. Efforts at peace building continue to falter in the region and this illustrates the need to construct a more inclusive peace-making process, taking into account the insights and values of those most affected. This constitutes the main recommendation of the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available