Peace Studies Present Dr. Kevin Kester

A Hybrid International Seminar on

Higher Education Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Societies: Beyond the Good/Bad Binary

October 25, 2022
Bangkok Time
Program Schedule
13:30 – 13:35: Introduction
13:35 – 14:00: Lecture
14:00 – 14:30: Q&A and Closing

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 889 8539 2113
Passcode: 12345

About Assoc. Prof. Dr Kevin Kester:

Kevin Kester is Associate Professor of Comparative International Education and Peace/Development Studies at Seoul National University (서울대학교) and director of the Education, Conflict and Peace Lab. He researches educational responses to peace, conflict and development in local and global contexts. His most recent book is The United Nations and Higher Education: Peacebuilding, Social Justice and Global Cooperation for the 21st Century. Prior to moving to Seoul National University, he was Assistant Professor of Education at Keimyung University (계명대학교) and Director of Studies for Education at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He serves in various leadership capacities with the Comparative and International Education Society, Korean Comparative Education Society, and Korean Educational Research Association. He completed his PhD and postdoc at the University of Cambridge.


Purpose – This comparative case study looks towards the diverse approaches of higher education to support peacebuilding, from policy and philosophy to pedagogical practices, in conflict-affected and post-conflict settings. The achievement of global development goals is dependent on addressing access to quality education in conflict-affected contexts, including higher education. However, in settings affected by conflict, higher education is often perceived to be a luxury, not a necessity. This study, then, explores whether and how higher education might support peace and development through the unique perspective of the “three faces” of higher education in conflict contexts.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper is designed as a qualitative comparative case study. The research examines the work of university educators in two institutions in Afghanistan and Somaliland, highlighting the challenges and opportunities they face working in conflict-affected societies and their pedagogical responses to conflict. Data for the research were collected through in-depth interviews, documents, and digital artifacts with 12 university educators across the two institutions. The faculty teach a wide variety of subjects in the social sciences and humanities, subjects including and in addition to those specific to peace and development studies. To strengthen the interpretation of data, multiple coders were involved and intercoder reliability was conducted.

Findings – Findings indicate a number of challenges and opportunities that university lecturers and their institutions face in teaching for peace in conflict-affected contexts, particularly as it relates to the “three faces” of higher education to support, impede, or reveal the complicated nuances of peacebuilding in conflict settings. Member-checking was employed with participants to enhance the reliability of the analysis.

Originality/value – In the end, the paper contributes new empirical insights into higher education in conflict-affected contexts, particularly from the standpoint of faculty. Critical perspectives and implications for curriculum, pedagogy and research are offered.

Keywords: Higher education, Conflict-affected societies, Peacebuilding, Pedagogy

This serves as an invitation.

Free admission. Open to the public.

Onsite venue: Department of Peace Studies, Payap University,

Mae Khao Campus, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Zoom ID shall be furnished online a few days before the event. Please come back for details.

Links to his co-authored papers shall be shared during the seminar.

A Certificate of Attendance will be issued upon request.