Education in pre- and post-conflict contexts: relating capability and life-skills approaches
Purpose – Conflicts, especially when they turn into civil war or genocide, have irreversible consequences for people. The impact is not only economic as shown by several quantitative studies, but also social and ethical since it deeply affects the mind and behaviour of both current and future generations. The main issue is, therefore, to avoid the eruption of such conflicts, in both pre and post-conflict situations, by implementing preventive approaches. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach – Even if macro-analyses bring up a series of objective causal factors to explain the reasons of uprisings and conflicts, we insist on the importance of people's micro-attitudes when confronted by such events. The freedom of the agent to react appropriately in order to generate peace, and his responsibility towards the other, become nowadays essential and have to be improved by appropriate innovative education programmes. Findings – Learning to live together and to behave with esteem and confidence, can contribute substantially to the peace-keeping or peace-building processes, especially in pre and post-conflict situations. Such specific capabilities connect to the “life skills” education programme and could bring vital new opportunities. Practical implications – However, the economic or political causes of societal failure may still remain, at the macro-level, and jeopardise these opportunities, with the risk of transforming these positive capabilities into negative behaviour. Therefore, implementing in addition a social precautionary principle and appropriate investigation tools such as observatories and sentinel sites may be required to monitor such risks. Originality/value – The paper offers insights into the following issue: to what extend and under which conditions will micro-level measures effectively contribute to peace-keeping, in the case of pre-conflict situations, and to peace-restoring in the case of post-conflict contexts.
Conflict management, Education policy, Peace, Social responsibility, Social skills, Sustainable development
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