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Title: The Politics of peace education in post-conflict settings : the case of the education for peace programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Author: Tinker, Vanessa
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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Education for Peace (EFP) represents one of the longest running and largest peace education programmes of its kind. What began as a small pilot study in six schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) became in a period of approximately twelve years mainstreamed throughout the country's educational system. Despite the programme's "political success", relatively little has been written on EFP and there has been no systematic independent evaluation of its evolution. Therefore, the question of how and why EFP's political success was possible remains to be explored. To answer this question this thesis adopts a hermeneutica1-constructivist approach, thereby enabling this study to chronologically reconstruct the emergence and "mainstreaming" of the EFP programme and critically assess its adoption across the whole ofBiH. By using a hermeneutic-constructivist approach, this study makes explicit that the programme's philosophical assumptions derive from the Bahi'i faith, a fact which until now has been poorly understood and very rarely acknowledged. And while using this framework to critically assess the adoption and mainstreaming of EFP throughout BiH, this study demonstrates that EFP' s political success was helped by a number of factors, the six most prevalent being: the prevailing conditions and needs in post-war BiH; the programme's surface discourse which appears to address the objectives of the international community; the newness of peace education as a tool for peace-building and reconstruction in post-conflict societies; the unfamiliarity of the Bahi'i faith; the fact that the programme went through only one independent evaluation; and the disconnect of the programme's content and the political process of its adoption. Furthermore, this study will draw to attention the accidental and contingent nature of the adoption process of EFP, highlighting the naivety that was prevalent on all sides - the EFP people who want to help by spreading their positive messages of peace and unity, however unreflective oftheir assumptions and the governing officials, decision-makers and funders who want to help and/or be seen as being proactive. This study does not question whether EFP or those involved in funding or supporting the programme directly or indirectly are genuine in their intentions. Rather this study aims to draw attention to the unexpected outcomes and the failure to properly consider the programme's assumption that has now resulted in a religiously orientated peace education programme being mainstreamed throughout an entire country just emerging fi:om a violent ethnic-religious conflict. It allows us to ask more general questions about the future of peace education and its use as a peace-building and reconstruction tool in post-conflict settings while taking a closer and critica1100k at the political processes that allows for its nationwide implementation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available