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Title: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and post-conflict educational policymaking in Peru
Author: Paulson, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0003 8449 6260
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis investigates the relationship between transitional justice and education, two important international priorities in the post-conflict context. Since the turn of the century, transitional justice processes have taken increasing account of education in their work. Truth commissions, in particular, have included education in their research and have made recommendations for educational reform. Despite calls for research into these phenomena, what little research does exist in this area explores the conceptual resonance between the goals of transitional justice and post-conflict educational change. This study builds on this small body of research by offering much needed empirical evidence through a qualitative case study of the relationship in Peru. Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission included education to an unprecedented degree. It investigated education's role in the twenty year conflict of the 1980s and 1990s, held hearings focused on education and made a series of recommendations for educational reform, which it deemed 'essential' in order that conflict not recur. The thesis investigates the causes of this unprecedented attention as well as its effects. It looks not only at the implementation (or non-implementation) of the truth commission's recommendations in the educational sector, but also at the ways that these recommendations have held influence on educational discourse. By adopting a critical, sociological approach, the thesis discovers that despite a lack of progress towards the full implementation of the recommendations, the truth commission has been used in particular ways within Peru's Ministry of Education, lending momentum to certain policymaking initiatives and contributing towards the inertia of others. The thesis also explores the ways in which the 'truth' produced by the truth commission has entered into Peru's national curriculum. Again, the truth commission is used in political ways that do not necessarily align with the educational visions that it originally articulated. These examples offer insights into the processes of educational policymaking in Peru. Literature on educational policymaking in Latin America has tended to focus on inefficiency, lack of capacity and 'radical discontinuity' as key obstacles to educational change. The thesis does find evidence of these factors. However, it also shows that educational policymaking in Peru, like policymaking processes described elsewhere, is guided by a set of values. In the Peruvian case, these values maintain the educational status quo, impeding the transformation imagined by the truth commission and other initiatives that seek to change the unequal and divisive educational system in Peru. The political ways in which Peru's truth commission has been used within the educational sector complicate the potential that seems so straightforward in more conceptual work and calls for a clarification of the discourses of both transitional justice and post-conflict educational policymaking. Indeed, this thesis shows that just as the values that guide Peru's educational policymaking process condition its possibilities for change, so too do those values behind the discourses of transitional justice and education in emergencies affect the possibilities these processes are able to open (and close).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available