Contested Knowledge: Opportunities and Risks of Educational Development in Post-Conflict Situations

Keywords

Higher education, post-conflict, knowledge economy, peacebuilding

Countries

Arab Spring countries, Central Asia, Southeast Asia

Summary

The 'Contested Knowledge' (in German, 'Umkämpftes Wissen') pilot project studies on higher education in post-conflict situations is investigating the intersection where emergency and humanitarian response meets the pressing question of how countries and aid-givers deal with the political liabilities of rebuilding a system of higher education. The project takes as a point of departure the potential of higher education to contribute to maintaining and supporting peace as well as leading to political and scientific growth. As a center of excellence in training academicians and future policymakers from developing countries, the ZEF knows well how higher education can contribute to education, economic growth, and good governance. In this project, we aim to leverage this experience to study and support the higher education sector to live up to its potential. Due to events such as the ‘Arab Spring’, political transformation in Southeast Asia, and post-Soviet ideological shifts, the production of knowledge and role of universities in post-conflict redevelopment has become increasingly important in international debates. With ZEF’s excellent track record in conducting research in challenging contexts and producing cutting-edge results, we hope to expand this pilot project into a larger initiative with the following goals:

  • To provide research opportunities for doctoral students from post-conflict countries
  • To work with partner universities to study educational change and support pedagogical development
  • To expand the knowledge base and generate enthusiasm for the role of higher education and science policy for development
  • To study political change through the contested arena of higher education

Methodology

Fieldwork employing embedded sociological and ethnographic research in case-study institutes of higher education, as well as a study of the political economy and political discourses surrounding the rebuilding of higher education.

Main Funding Partners

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

Duration of the Project

June 2012 – September 2013

Team

Contact

Hart Nadav Feuer

Dr. Hart Nadav Feuer

Phone.:
+49-228-73-