Dr. Eleni Christodoulou

Dr Eleni Christodoulou joined the Georg Eckert Institute in April 2016 as a research fellow, working in the field of Peace and Conflict. From 2016 to 2017 she was head of the Peace and Conflict research field. From January to December 2018, she was the principal investigator of a project called Preventing Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E)’, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), resulting in the first systematic analysis of international and German practices in the field of PVE-E. Currently, she is researching the role of digital resilience in PVE-E policies, based in the Department Media|Transformation. At the GEI, Eleni also acts as an academic advisor to the Georg Arnhold Program on Education for Sustainable Peace.   

Eleni Christodoulou holds a BA (Honours) in Modern History (First Class), an MA in Political Science (Merit) and an MA in Diplomacy (Distinction). She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2015. Her undergraduate thesis, on the history of the Birmingham School of Jewellery, was awarded the WHB Court Memorial Prize and the Baxter Prize in Local History. Her doctoral thesis, titled ‘The Politics of Peace Education in Cyprus’, investigated the discursive power struggle over education in the context of the Cyprus Conflict and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK. Eleni has been a Universitas 21 PhD Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Australia, a PhD visiting researcher at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and completed an ESRC-funded placement at the Scrutiny Unit of the British Parliament. She has also taught three undergraduate classes at the School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham. From 2014 to 2016, Eleni was Head of Politics at a private school in Cyprus, where she taught history and politics for ISCED Level 2 and 3.

Eleni is particularly interested in research transfer and research impact, as part of the attempt to bridge the gap between academia and practice. She has consulted and cooperated with national and international organisations such as UNESCO; UNESCO MGEIP; APCEIU; EUROCLIO, Evens Foundation; Engagement Global; German Commission for UNESCO; the German Foreign Office, as well as the German Federal Ministry of Education. She is an active member of ICAS MP, and organised its 2018 workshop on ‘Negotiating History Education in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings’ in New Delhi, India. Other events include organisation of workshops and public events with teachers and policymakers on PVE-E in UNESCO HQs in Paris and Leibniz HQs in Berlin. She was also one of the lead authors and member of the editorial board of the recent project on Textbooks for Sustainable Development (see here). Her work has been featured in media outlets such as The Economist, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt and Der Mediendienst Integration.

Her research is interdisciplinary, investigating the role of education in peace and conflict through the lens of security. Her first project at the GEI focused on resistance to peace education in the conflict-ridden island of Cyprus, and examined whether the Orthodox Church in Cyprus has been a ‘securitising’ or ‘desecuritising’ force with regards to proposed changes to history textbooks. Eleni’s second project analysed international discourses and practices of preventing violent extremism through education, with a particular in-depth study of the German context. Her research interests include ontological security; history and collective memory; pedagogical peacebuilding through textbook revisions; Gramsci and peace education; education for sustainable development and global citizenship; prevention of violent extremism; digital resilience; education diplomacy.


  • Christodoulou, E., Nesterova, Y. (In Press). Violent Extremism. In: Leal Filho, W., Azul, A.M., Brandli, L., Özuyar, P., Wall, T. (eds) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Cham: Springer.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2019), Book Review of 'Grassroots Activism and the Evolution of Transitional Justice: The Families of the Disappeared'. By Iosif Kovras. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017, Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network, available here
  • Christodoulou, E. and Szakács, S. (2018), 'Prävention von gewalttätigem Extremismus durch Bildung: Internationale und deutsche Ansätze'. Braunschweig: Georg-Eckert-Institut (available to download open access here).
  • Christodoulou, E. and Szakács, S. (2018), 'Preventing Violent Extremism through Education: International and German Approaches'. Braunschweig: Georg Eckert Institute (available to download open access here).
  • Christodoulou, E. (2018), ‘Deconstructing Resistance Towards History Textbook Revisions: The Securitization of History Textbooks and the Cyprus Conflict’, Global Change, Peace and Security, Vol.30, No.3. (see here)
  • Christodoulou, E., Mochizuki, Y. Schreiber, R. (2017), 'Introduction: Textbooks for Sustainable Development’ in Textbooks for Sustainable Development, UNESCO MGIEP, New Delhi, pp.11-33. (see here)
  • Christodoulou, E. (2015), 'The Politics of Peace Education in Cyprus', PhD thesis, University of Birmingham.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2012), 'Greek Politics and Passion(s): Reconstituting National Identity in the Midst of Financial Crisis’, GPSG Working Paper No.10, Political Studies Association, UK, pp.1-20.
  • Christodoulou, E., Carol Oxborough.,  James Clarke (2011), ‘Inquiry into DWP Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11’, Work and Pensions Committee, House of Commons, UK.

Recent Presentations (conferences, invited talks, seminars, workshops)

  • Christodoulou, E. (2019), 'Preventing Violent Extremism through Education: International and German practices', St Antony's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK 17.01.2019
  • Christodoulou, E. (2018), 'Educational Anxieties: Securitizing and Desecuritizing History Textbooks vis-a-vis the Cyprus Conflict, New Delhi, India 09.10.2018
  • Christodoulou, E. (2018), 'Securitising education? Problematising the relationship between religious actors and history textbooks in Cyprus' Identities and Education: Comparative Perspectives in an Age of Crisis, Comparative Education Society Europe XXVIII Conference, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus 31.05.2018
  • Christodoulou, E. and Szakács S. (2018), 'Deconstructing ‘Preventing Violent Extremism through Education’: A critical analysis of UNESCO discourses', Identities and Education: Comparative Perspectives in an Age of Crisis, Comparative Education Society Europe XXVIII Conference, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus 30.05.2018
  • Christodoulou, E. (2018), 'Shooting (with) textbooks? History textbooks, contested narratives and violent extremism', Global Citizenship Education for Peaceful Societies in South-East Europe: A Sub-Regional Capacity-Building Workshop on the Prevention of Violent Extremism, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice, Italy 2.5.2018-4.5.2018
  • Christodoulou, E. (2018), 'PVE-E research activities on textbooks and curricula', Consultation on Inter-Institutional Cooperation on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education, UNESCO, Paris, France 18.4.2018-19.4.2018
  • Christodoulou, E. (2018), ‘Breaking Their Own Rules? The Role of Religious Actors in Peacebuilding Processes in Cyprus’, International Studies Association, Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, 7.4.2018.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2017), ‘Revising Textbooks as a Road to Peace: Education and the Prestigious Universal Peace Congresses, 1889-1913, Historical Research Seminar, Universität Kassel, 4.12.2017.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2017), 'Rethinking Diversity in the Context of History as a Political Category: the Role of History Textbooks', ICAS: MP Inaugural Conference: Changing Contours of the Political, Berlin, Germany, 10.10.17.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2017), 'Can Global Identity and National Identity Coexist?' 2nd International Conference on Global Citizenship Education: Platform on Pedagogy and Practice, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 14.09.17.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2017), 'Why is Embedding Education for Peace, Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development in Textbooks an Effective Strategy?' UNESCO, 3rd Asia-Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 (APMED2030), Bangkok, Thailand, 04.07.2017.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2017), 'Negotiating the Content of History Textbooks: Power, Security and Conflict', Workshop on History as a Political Category, International Centre for Advanced Studies (ICAS): MP, German Historical Institute, London, UK, 09.06.2017.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2017), ‘PVE and Educational Media: Opportunities, Initiatives and Challenges’ Workshop on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Educational Media: Sharing Good Practices. UNESCO, Paris, France, 26.06.2017. (see here)
  • Christodoulou, E. (2016), 'Education and the Cyprus Conflict’, Guest talk at postgraduate seminar, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 02.10.16.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2016), ‘The Politics of History Textbooks in Conflict-regions’, summer academy: Education in the Aftermath of Conflict: Learning from the Past, Nuremberg Principles Academy, Nuremberg, Germany 17.08.16.
  • Christodoulou, E. (2016), International Workshop on Embedding Concepts of Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Curricula, UNESCO MGIEP, Bangalore, India, 27.06.16 - 30.06.16.