Reforming education for peace

Research which analysed education reforms in intra-state political agreements recommends that reforms should be more systematically included in include peace agreements.

Executive Summary

Intra-state peace accords often fail to nurture peace because they do not redress broader socioeconomic inequalities and do not initiate the long-term structural change essential for reconciliation.

Education reforms can address these challenges in three main ways:

  • Education reforms can impact short-term security by incentivising former combatants to lay down their weapons.
  • Education reforms can foster medium-term conflict management by recognising and redressing conflictrelated inequalities.
  • Education reforms can nurture peacebuilding by challenging structural and cultural violence to-wards all marginalised groups to build a fairer, more inclusive society for all.

About the Research

This research analysed the frequency, context and framing of education reforms in intra-state political agreements using the dataset of Formal Education in Political Agreements (FEPA). FEPA is the largest dataset of educa-tion in peace accords in the world, and captures reforms of formal education in all 286 intra-state political agree-ments concluded between 1989 and 2016 and found that:

  • Education is rarely included in peace accords
  • Local and regional precedents affect the inclusion of education reforms.
  • The framing of education provisions differs deeply across different documents

Policy recommendations

  • Education provisions must be designed and adapted to different contexts
  • Education reforms for peacebuilding should be more frequently embedded in peace accords.
  • A policy-smart integration of education reforms in intra-state political agreements can provide much-needed structural and cultural change to achieve reconciliation and more robust peace ac-cords.



Dr Giuditta Fontana, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham –
Thomas Bobo, Department of Political Science and Inter-national Studies, University of Birmingham –

Professor Karen Guldberg

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