The research project aims to bolster conceptual, methodological and empirically informed understandings of the complex relationship that exist between education and peacebuilding in conflict-affected settings. Using the case of Indonesia, this joint research project will explore dynamics underpinning the cultural political economy of education in conflict-affected regions of Indonesia to detail conditions under which education either exacerbates or mitigates existing conflict triggers (economic, social, religious, political, environmental). A specific area of attention is to explore and understand teachers’ agency as strategic and political actors within such settings.
The first phase of this project (2013-2015) will focus on the province of Aceh, at the northwestern tip of Indonesia. The province was the scene of a nearly 30 year separatist struggle from Indonesia that led to the deaths of thousands of citizens and destruction of significant amount of infrastructure. This was then exacerbated by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. Following the tsunami, development assistance flowed in to repair destroyed infrastructure, and in 2005 a peace accord was signed between the separatist rebels and Indonesian government. Since that time, and with extensive involvement from the international community, the focus has been on reconstructing the state and reforming the education sector. Significant changes have occurred in regards to educational governance, the school curriculum, teacher support mechanisms, and modes of instruction in the classroom. Increased attention has also been given to the Islamic school system that serves a sizeable portion of the province’s children. Nonetheless, the province faces a number of development challenges following the signing of the peace accord—such as the reintegration of former combatants, the restoration of social cohesion within splintered communities, and an increasing divide between remote and urban areas of the country—which have a bearing on the function, role and purpose of education in this post-conflict period.
The two leading researchers have developed a methodological framework based on Cultural Political Economy Analysis and the Strategic Relational Approach that informs and connects various smaller thematic studies that are being conducted by a research team comprised at present of academics and postgraduate students from the University of Amsterdam and the University of Auckland. This joint research project aims to build a longer term, interdisciplinary, cooperative learning community between researchers, postgraduate students, practitioners/civil society, policy-makers and educators who are engaged in scholarly and policy-oriented debates regarding the role of education in peace-building and social justice in conflict-affected and fragile-state settings globally.
Research project outputs
This website will provide open source access to ongoing research outputs. Please find below the outputs so far.
- Shah, R. & Lopes Cardozo, M.T.A. (2014). Education and Social Change in Post-Conflict and Post-Disaster Aceh, Indonesia. International Journal of Educational Development. [For a Working Paper version, click here]
- Lopes Cardozo, M.T.A. & Shah, R. (2013), Building peace and social justice through education in Aceh, Indonesia? conference paper presented at UKFIET, Oxford, September 2013.
- Shah, R. & Lopes Cardozo, M.T.A. (2013). A critical conceptual framework to study the multiscalar politics of education for sustainable peacebuilding and social justice in Aceh, Indonesia, conference paper presented at WCCES, Buenos Aires, June 2013.
Within the framework of this research project, master students have also carried out investigations in this field. Their studies are listed below:
- John Mackisack. (2015). The developmental role of scholarships in post-conflict Aceh: Challenges to creating a lasting peace [Supervised by Ritesh Shah]
- Clayton Naylor. (2014). Participation and its Discontents: Participatory Education Reforms in an Age of Globalization – A Case Study of Aceh, Indonesia. [Supervised by Mieke Lopes Cardozo].
- Lisa Stumpel. (2014). Rasulullah and Responsibilities: Gender justice perceptions in and through education in Banda Aceh. [Supervised by Mieke Lopes Cardozo].
- Genevieve Wenger. (2014). Policies, Perceptions and Practices: Teaching the recent conflict in secondary school history classes in post-conflict Banda Aceh, Indonesia. [Supervised by Mieke Lopes Cardozo].