Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Peace education in fragile states: A case study of the influence of global discussions of peace education in conflict settings on national education policy and local NGO efforts in Afghanistan
by Robiolle-Moul, Tina, Ph.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University), 2016, 425; 10191417
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation assesses the influence of international standards and guidance on peace education on education policy and practice at the national and local levels in a fragile state. It also explores the critical factors that affect this influence—or the lack thereof. Utilizing a vertical case study approach that draws comparisons across multiple levels, this research examines the case of Afghanistan from 2002 to 2015. The author explored the origins and content of these recommendations at the global level, investigated their influence at the national level, and assessed what then is implemented at the local level through the work of a local non-governmental organization (NGO).

While there has been a growing presence of peace education in international recommendations and instruments promulgated by the United Nations, this study demonstrates how challenging it is for the international community to coordinate and harmonize its discourse on peace education—let alone to influence significantly a fragile state’s national education policy and practice. The international community’s recommendations on peace education had only a limited influence on the Afghan government’s education policy and practice. At the local level, the global recommendations did influence the work of a local Afghan NGO, Help the Afghan Children, and its peace education program launched in 2002. The success of this program has triggered the interest of the Ministry in developing and testing a national school-based peace education curriculum that could be taught in all government schools in the country. However, the lack of resources and political will represent a great obstacle for the program to be scaled up at the national level. Overall, this vertical study underlined different potentials for the integration of peace education in schools at the national versus the local level.

As a critical case, Afghanistan provided sufficient positive conditions to implement some global recommendations on peace education, despite the complexity of the local context. The critical factors that explain the limits of this influence are not specific to Afghanistan and can be found in other fragile states. If they are not addressed, the international community will face similar obstacles to the integration of peace education in other fragile states.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Babbitt, Eileen F.
Commitee: Bajaj, Monisha, Johnstone, Ian
School: Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University)
Department: Diplomacy, History, and Politics
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 78/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Peace Studies, International Relations
Keywords: Afghanistan, Fragile states, Global education policy, National curriculum, Peace education, United Nations
Publication Number: 10191417
ISBN: 978-1-369-54979-9
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