Education, Conflict and Social Cohesion



Geneva: UNESCO International Bureau of Education, 2004. 


Price: Euros 23,80 438 pages,

ISBN: 92-3-103962-8


To order: Contact UNESCO publishing

Is schooling a potential catalyst for the outbreak of identity-based conflict? How can education contribute to social and civic reconstruction? Education, Conflict and Social Cohesion explores these questions in conflict-affected societies as diverse as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Guatemala, Lebanon and Mozambique, Northern Ireland, Rwanda and Sri Lanka. Using a common analytical framework, the studies assess changing conceptualisations of social cohesion as reflected in the shifting curriculum paradigms and rationales that have governed educational policy reform in each of these societies. In doing so, each of the studies examines the potent role of curriculum policy in reconstructing social and civic identities and the challenges that policy makers have been confronted with in terms of changing definitions of national citizenship. These challenges range from the determination of language policies in multilingual and multicultural societies, to the sensitive and sometimes contentious learning content related to the reinterpretation of national history, and the development of a sense of common citizenship and of shared destiny. Based on these experiences, Education, Conflict and Social Cohesion argues that for processes of education reform to be meaningful contributions to reconciliation and peacebuilding, the subtle and complex relationships between schooling and conflict need to be explicitly recognised and examined.



Education and Identity-based Conflict:
Assessing curriculum policy for social and civic reconstruction, Sobhi Tawil and Alexandra Harley, p. 1


Curriculum Development, Diversity and Division in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Philip Stabback, p. 37


Curriculum Change and Social Cohesion in Multicultural Guatemala, Manuel de Jesús Salazar Tetzagüic and Katherine Grigsby, p. 85


Developing Curriculum as a Means to Bridging National Divisions in Lebanon, Nemer Frayha, p. 159


Curriculum Reform, Political Change, and Reinforcement of National Identity in Mozambique, Juvenal Bazilashe Balegamire, Adelaide Dhorsan and Cristina Tembe, p. 207


Citizenship Education in a Divided Society: The case of Northern Ireland, Michael Arlow, p. 255


Redefining Rwanda's Future: The role of curriculum in social reconstruction, John Rutayisire, John Kabano and Jolly Rubagiza, p. 315


Education Reform and Political Violence in Sri Lanka, Lal Perera, Swarna Wijetunge and A.S. Balasooriya, p. 375