Peace Education in the Midst of Conflict:
Its nature and its challenges
Gavriel Salomon, Center for Research on Peace
Education
University of Haifa, Israel
May, 2011
[email protected]
http://edu.haifa.ac.il/personal/gsalomon/index.htm
Two Implications
1. Deligitimization and dehumanization of
the other side
Accept the legitimacy of
the “other’s” collective
narrative
Acknowledge one’s
own role in the
conflict
Develop empathy for
the “other’s”
suffering and fears
Develop positive
mindsets toward
the “Other side”
Acknowledging
one’s own role
in the conflict
• Develop a
more complex
identity
• Come to see
the two sided
nature of the
conflict
Empathy
• Come to
understand
the other
side
• Come to
feel the
other side
• Humanize;
reduce
stereotypes
& prejudices
Develop
positive
mindsets
toward the
“Other side”
• Acquire
relevant attitudes
• Acquire
relevant skills &
behavior
tendencies
Barriers facing peace
education
Roadblocks facing peace
education
1. Conflicting collective historical memories
2. Conflicting collective beliefs
Typical (symmetrical!) beliefs
We are right and our goals are just
They pursue illegitimate goals
We are the victims; we only respond
Even when we do harm, it is they to blame
If they’d only listen to us… we are so moderate
They only understand the language of force
3. Grave inequalities
4. Excessive emotionality
5. A Belligerent Environment
“Until
yesterday
I hated them
Until yesterday I hated
them,
but now,
but now,
I spent
after I spent a weekend
withafter
them,
I a
weekend with them, I
understand why... understand why...”
A participant in an encounter group
Nevertheless…
Percent of "positive Peace" (N=819)
(Biton, 2002)
40
35
30
Posttest
25
20
Pretest
15
10
5
0
Israelis
Palestinians
Non-Participants
Israelis
Palestinians
Participants
Percent advocating war as a
strategy for peace (Biton, 2002)
60
50
Participants
40
30
NonParticipants
20
10
0
Pretest
Posttest
Does Friendship Between Adversaries Generalize? (Bar-Natan,
2005)
Pretest
Posttest
Bi- and Uni-National Football Clubs:
Negative Emotions Toward The Other (Zuabi,
2008)
4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
Pre Test
Bi-National Jewish
Post Test
Bi-National Arabs
Delayed Post test
Uni-National Jewish
Uni-National Arabs
But…
Declining impact of the PE program
(Rosen, 2006)
4
t=.0.21, ns
3.5
3.32
3.38
3
Central
t=3.73**
2.5
2
Peripheral
2.47
2.13
1.5
Post-test1
Post-test2
Does Friendship Between Adversaries Generalize? (Bar-Natan, 2005)
Pretest
Posttest
Delayed Posttest
Peace education is a subversive activity;
the attitudes,
perceptions and beliefs
it affects are extremely
vulnerable to opposing
social and political
forces
What then would make peace
education effective during
conflict?
Our challenge today is not just to create
changes of perceptions, beliefs, attitudes
and behaviors, but to learn how to
sustain them over time and against
opposing forces
The Impact of Induced-Compliance activity on the Importance of the
Peripheral Beliefs from the Palestinian Narrative - Jewish Participants
5.00
4.50
4.00
3.14
3.50
2.85
3.00
2.50
2.11
2.83
2.00
1.50
2.27
2.24
2.03
2.12
1.00
Pretest (before
the program)
Posttest1
(after the
program)
Posttest2
Posttest2 (3
(after 2 month) month after the
IC)
Participated in PE program not participated in IC
Participated in PE program and participated in IC
Apply a differential approach to the different groups
One size does not fit all…
Strengthening
One’s own
Collective N.
Legitimizng
The other’s
Collective N.
ARABS
JEWS
Create a social ripple effect: Multiply the
number of peace education partners
Thank you
So, does peace education make a difference?
• Yes, it does, even during outbursts of
violence
• Effects disappear after a short while
• Effects are moderated by initial
views
• Peace Education may be a barrier against
deterioration
• Strong positive emotions appear to
support change
We all walk on our own path,
but it is when we step off that path
that we really get to know each other!
Arundel Begbie