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.
Abstract: 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... read morecase 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.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Eileen Babbitt.
Committee: Ian Johnstone, and Monisha Bajaj.
Keywords: Peace studies, International relations, and Education.read less