Doing 'Leftist propaganda' or working towards peace? Moving Greek-Cypriot peace education struggles beyond local political complexities
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This paper investigates the interference of local politics with a peace education initiative in Greek-Cypriot education and the consequent impact on teachers' perceptions and responses. Focusing on a recent educational attempt to promote 'peaceful coexistence', the authors explain how this attempt was seen by many teachers as being a part of a local leftist agenda and was therefore often rejected. When though the same initiative was positioned - through a series of teacher training seminars organised by the authors - within the global field of 'peace education', and was grounded in humanistic ideals, the teachers appeared much more comfortable to engage with it. Taking the local political complexities into consideration, the authors argue that despite the existing thorough critiques of the humanistic discourse of peace education, a seemingly 'neutral' humanistic discourse of peace education can be legitimised on the basis of two arguments: first, a humanistic discourse could serve as an entry point for talking about 'peaceful coexistence' in schools and second, it might offer a way to overcome the strong political connotations that these concepts appear to have locally.