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Rethinking International Scholarships as Peace Interventions in the Palestinian Context of Conflict

Almassri, Anas

Authors



Abstract

International education scholarships can be significant interventions at times of conflict and peace. Extant research in International Relations and in International Education begins to demonstrate this significance but predominantly in neo-liberal terms of human capital import, North-facing cosmopolitanism, and Western-style democratization and global (economic) integration. This is valuable framing, but it misses more complex political effects of scholarships as conflict and peace interventions. This paper presents empirical evidence illuminating the need for a broader ontology in researching the potential contribution of scholarships to peace. The paper draws on qualitative data collected from 32 Palestinian scholarship alumni and alumnae, sampling a national group nowhere to be found in scholarly or policy works dealing with international education and conflict/peace. Developed through a critical realist thematic analysis of the collected data, the experiential findings reported here show strong perceived gains in the research participants’ critical reflexivization and domestic and global (re)socialization of their sense of national identity and awareness. An interdisciplinary discussion of these gains demonstrates that scholarships may represent deep and significant advocacy and capacity-building interventions in the contexts of conflict, with these interventions spanning the humanitarian, development, and, to a lesser extent, political spheres. The discussion is concluded with a reflection on the methodological-conceptual challenge these findings outline to framing international education impacts in only neo-liberal terms. Overall, this paper contributes a timely Global South perspective to inform critical thought and practice of international scholarships for Palestinians and other conflict-affected groups/nations.

Citation

Almassri, A. (2024). Rethinking International Scholarships as Peace Interventions in the Palestinian Context of Conflict. Social Sciences, 13(7), Article 336. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13070336

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 24, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2024
Publication Date Jun 25, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 27, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2024
Journal Social Sciences
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 7
Article Number 336
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13070336
Keywords conflict and peace; interdisciplinarity; international education; neoliberalism; Palestine; scholarship programs
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2504098

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