A case study of the M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation Program at the University of Rwanda

Impact, Implementation, and Insights of Peace Education: A Case Study of the M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation Program at the University of Rwanda

Citation: Doerrer, Sarah. Impact, Implementation, and Insights of Peace Education: A Case Study of the M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation Program at the University of Rwanda (June 20, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4571387 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4571387

ABSTRACT

Higher education is arguably critical for healing and stabilization in postconflict contexts, by developing leaders who value peace and have the skill sets to achieve it in various sectors. A rapidly growing body of literature concludes that peace education in particular has great potential to transform postconflict communities, both in higher education and at other levels of schooling. Yet there exists little rigorous analysis of the decisions faced by educational leaders responsible for implementing such programs, particularly those in postconflict settings where the needs are uniquely challenging.

This qualitative investigation documented the M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation program, managed by the Centre for Conflict Management (CCM) within the University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), one of the first of its kind in the region. The goal of this study was to use interviews and field notes collected during a six-week fieldwork period to highlight lessons from the experiences and perspectives of colleagues who have typically been on the outskirts of the conversation about how formalized peace education can contribute to leadership development and national stability.

Participants included faculty members, administrators, and alumnae, as well as leaders affiliated with the Rwandan Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and various civil society organizations. The study led to twelve key findings aligned with the three research questions, each of which is similarly aligned with a corresponding discourse theme and three clusters of interview questions, as well as three related overarching researcher recommendations for policy and practice, grounded in participant perspectives.

Contact the author: Sarah Doerrer, Loyola Marymount University

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