Political peace - educational war: the role played by international organisations in negotiating peace in the Balkans and its consequences for education.
Research in Comparative and International Education, 3(1),
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The number of countries involved in conflict appears to be growing. Global awareness of these conflicts grows as the increasing use of weblogs and mobile phone videos, alongside traditional technologies, demonstrates the day-to-day effects of conflict on those caught up in it. International organisations are drawn into negotiating ‘peace settlements’ and into monitoring post-conflict developments due to this growing global awareness of conflict and due to the influences of globalisation, increasing economic interdependence and other factors. International organisations, including the World Bank and agencies of the United Nations, try to find common ground between opposing factions in conflict situations in order to broker peace. This is not an easy task and compromises often have to be made. Peace agreements and settlements also need to take account of how the parties will work together in the future, and therefore, these may include aspects of educational provision. This article describes the role played by international organisations in negotiating the peace agreement that brought about the end of the conflict in the countries of the former Yugoslavia in 1995. It goes on to illustrate the consequences for education of this peace agreement and suggests that, whilst international organisations may have brokered peace on the streets, the opposing factions are continuing their war in the terrain of continuing educational conflicts, due at least in part to structures for educational provision laid out in the Dayton Agreement. The article provides support for Bush & Saltarelli’s claim that education has two faces, and argues that in this case, unfortunately, the negative one predominates.
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