2012-06-21 Dr Mario Novelli presents at INCORE Summer School 2012


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Presentation given at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster by Dr Mario Novelli, Senior Lecturer in International Education and Development University of Sussex, at a seminar entitled 'Education and Peacebuilding in Conflict Affected Situations' run by the UNESCO Centre for the INCORE Summer School 2012.

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2012-06-21 Dr Mario Novelli presents at INCORE Summer School 2012

  1. 1. UNESCO Centre
  2. 2. Peacebuilding or Pacification? Education and the Politics ofPeacebuilding in Sierra Leone Mario Novelli, Centre for International Education (CIE), University of Sussex INCORE Summer School, June 2012
  3. 3. METHODOLOGICAL INSIGHTS Education Politics and Politics of Education. Education can‟t be understood in isolation from its broader location and embeddedness in a complex local, national and global political economy Need to go beyond ‘Education Parochialism’ and explore relationship between education, IR, politics, geography – interdisciplinarity – beyond educationism Need to get under the skin of Global Discourses – Peacebuilding – that often mask more than they reveal In conflict and education research there needs to be more Critical Approaches to research – particularly in exploring the role of international actors in the production and reproduction of conflict-both now and in the past.  Critical Globalisation & Education Theory – Roger Dale, Susan Robertson & the Bristol School‟
  4. 4. SIERRA LEONE AS PEACEBUILDINGSUCCESS?  War in SL began in 1991 when RUF attacked villages in east of country, opposed to one party state of All Peoples Congress  Conflict underpinned not only by diamonds, but social exclusion, SAPS, authoritarian rule  After several failed attempts at peace, Lome Peace Accord agreed in 1999 and fighting stopped by 2001  Between 50-75,000 killed, 50% of population displaced  Infamous for child soldiers/amputations/widespread use of rape  70% of schools destroyed, teachers fled, colleges and Higher Ed institutions damaged or destroyed  Over a decade after the end of the conflict war has not returned – yet many of the drivers of conflict remain
  5. 5. THEORISING THE CONFLICTGreed vs Grievance (Paul Collier, World Bank ) Greed – homo-economicus and resource conflicts – diamond war and mindless guerillas Grievance – Colonial/Post-Colonial legacy of high levels of inequality, youth marginalisation, regional disparities, enclave resource extraction & patronism Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Strategy appears to be underpinned by the former – rather than the latter
  6. 6. UN AND INT. COMMUNITY LIBERAL PEACE THESIS: PEACEBUILDING AS PACIFICATION Hegemonic approach sees Security, Democracy and Markets as priority in post conflict peacebuilding SECURITY FIRST then ……Development? Social Sectors seen as less of a priority, education marginalised Current Model in Sierra Leone has created Security and Misery rather than Development – a flawed model based on a flawed analysis? In Galtung‟s terms – Negative Peace (absence of war) rather than Positive Peace (transformation of conditions that led to conflict) Zizek on „Violence‟‟ - Subjective and Systemic Violence: “the often catastrophic consequences of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems (Zizek, Violence 2).” – symptoms & causes
  7. 7. EDUCATION‟S MARGINALISATIONMISPLACED Education System in Sierra Leone contributed to the drivers of the conflict and education improvements key to popular understanding of „wellbeing‟ and a decent society.  Colonial education system post colonial legacy reproduced highly unequal system favouring elites and Freetown and Western Areas over other regions.  RUF rebels saw educational equity as a key demand and was included in initial ceasefire agreements  Ongoing failure to prioritise education system inequalities (gender, geography, class) is part of the mechanism through which the drivers of war are reproduced
  8. 8. CONCLUSIONS Need for a more‟ Social Model of Peacebuilding‟ : Education agencies need a new language to talk about education‟s role in sustainable post-conflict peacebuilding & a strategy to fight their corner in the broader debate within the UN and beyond More investment in social sectors could address drivers of conflict in Sierra Leone – if based on good analysis and strategy Political Economy and Conflict Analysis is NOT the panacea – it is also political (e.g Collier vs Duffield) In Sierra Leone UN „Peacebuilding‟ has led to the restoration of an old pre-conflict order. Success. in Zizek‟s terms, is a return to the catastrophic consequences of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems (Zizek, Violence 2).” Where the continuities between colonial and post-colonial are evident….
  9. 9. UNESCO Centre