The Peace Education Project
11 November 2013
Hello and a very warm welcome to the Peace Education Project!
My name is Eleni Christodoulou, and I am an ESRC Doctoral Researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK. I am passionate about peace education, and my doctoral research is on the politics of peace education. This is a new area of academic research, but a fast- emerging one. My thesis, which investigates the politics of peace education in the conflict-ridden island of Aphrodite, Cyprus, represents a theoretical and empirical contribution to this field. As a trained historian and political scientist, I am particularly interested in the intersection between history, conflict, and education. It would perhaps be more accurate to replace the word 'conflict' here with 'peace', as this is in essence the ultimate rationale and goal of my work: how education (with an emphasis in history education), both formal and informal, can help in promoting peace. This is in fact where I see the 'politics of peace education' field fitting into: the broader area of peacebuilding.
Academics have a lot to learn from peace education practitioners and NGOs. Academics also have a lot to offer though. I have myself participated in both sectors, have witnessed direct 'knowledge-exchanges' between researchers and practitioners, and I strongly believe that synergistic efforts are conducive to greater, better and faster peace results. My experience at the Scrutiny Unit of the House of Commons, UK, has made me more conscious of the potential for knowledge exchange, dialogue and collaboration between different sectors. Hence, this is one of the aims of the Peace Education Project: to reduce the distance between research, policy and practice, in the specific field of peace education.
Teaching about contested conflicts, is an issue of heated debate, not only between the two opposing communities, but within each community itself. This online space- itself another form of community, a meta-community-is an opportunity to contribute constructively to this debate, to enrich, enliven and advance it. Please do not hesitate to join in! I invite you and encourage you to participate in this dialogue, even if you disagree with some/many/all of what is being said. I do not hold all the answers, and I strongly believe in a Habermasian approach to communication and communicative action. I am here to share with you my perspective, knowledge and expertise, but also to learn from you!
Please get in touch by either commenting on this site or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoy these short doses of insight!
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