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MESF Seminar – Why Peace Education Fails: Problematising Peace Curricula in the Middle East

Interior of Sultan Ahmed Mosque Blue Mosque Istanbul, Turkey.

MESF Seminar – Why Peace Education Fails: Problematising Peace Curricula in the Middle East

Event Venue:

Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre 221 Burwood HighwayBurwood, VIC, 3125, Australia ( Map )


World peace is threatened by unprecedented conflicts and global challenges making peacebuilding and diplomacy urgent. This study focuses on the role of peace education, as one of the most frequently disregarded tools available to us, in promoting enduring peace in the Middle East – a region beset by ongoing geopolitical, religious, and cultural conflicts. In particular, it draws on the body of current literature to examine how peace education is implemented in educational settings in two Middle Eastern countries: Lebanon and Israel.

This study identifies three challenges to the successful and sustainable enactment of peace education in these countries. These include political realities specific to each country, structural forms of violence embedded in the curricula, and a lack of participatory peace-oriented approaches and activities. Based on these findings, this study problematises peace education as a Western construct with broad and utopian values that are not compatible with the non-Western world. The argument then shifts to critical approaches to peace education with more potential to promote lasting peace. Moreover, it emphasises the need for interaction/contact, dialogue and critical analysis of national/global histories and cultures.

Speaker Details

Dr. Maliheh Rezaei is a teaching associate in Peace Education at Monash University and Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in critical approaches to peace education, and academic freedom specifically in higher education contexts. She is also interested in Post-Islamism and secularism in Iran and beyond.


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