Human rights and the ethno—nationalist problematic through the eyes of Greek-Cypriot teachers
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The present article aims to examine the interplay between the transnational discourses of human rights and the particularities of local constructions and conceptualisations of human rights within the context of an ethnically divided society, Cyprus. Specifically, this interplay is examined through a qualitative study of Greek-Cypriot primary school teachers’ understandings of human rights and human rights teaching in Greek-Cypriot schools, focusing on the tensions that seem to arise between transnational and ethno-nationalist discourses of human rights. The findings show that Greek-Cypriot teachers seem to ‘reframe’ universalist perspectives of human rights in response to local demands that foreground conflict-related violations suffered by the Greek-Cypriot community, while backgrounding human rights violations experienced by ‘others’. A few teachers, though, realize how conflict may limit understandings of human rights and project a different interpretation that acknowledges the suffering of the ‘Other’. The implications for human rights teaching are discussed, especially in the context of conflict-affected societies.