The research project “Education Policy following Mass Crimes” (Bildungspolitik nach Massenverbrechen) examines the question of how, and under what conditions, truth commissions and international peace education programmes affect educational policy as well as curricula and educational media. Using the examples of Guatemala and Peru, the project will compare different forms of intervention in the educational sector and examine hypotheses relating to different patterns of dealing with the past as implemented in schools.
The project will contribute both empirically and theoretically to the integration of the "transitional justice" research field with that of educational research; for the first time subjecting the thematic associations and conceptional discordance to a systematic and comparative study. In addition, this dissertation will constitute a contribution to critical debates surrounding peace education and to transitional justice and development by examining the influence and translation of international discourses and global cultural models in local contexts.
The project will primarily employ qualitative methods: in addition to an analysis of educational media, the study will include interviews with specialists regarding the historical reconstruction of reform processes. Furthermore, a representative investigation will be carried out in Guatemala, in cooperation with local and international stakeholders, examining the use of textbooks and the integration of historical themes in social studies lessons. A further objective of this dissertation is to contribute to the way in which transitional justice measures can be used to change attitudes after civil wars and to the way in which different stakeholders in educational policy can render international human rights discourses into a local political context.