Is there a place for peace education? Political education and citizenship activism in Israeli schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What is wrong with peace education in Israel? In this article, I attempt to decipher the cultural codes of Israeli schools in their relation to issues of peace, conflict and citizenship. It combines findings from two studies in order to understand how 'school culture' animates 'peace education'. My main contention is not that 'peace' is or is not being taught in the Israeli schools. Rather, I ask how conflict is being taught, and what underlines the schools' conception of conflict. Arguably, what Israeli schools are trying to avoid is not 'peace education' per se, but the very idea of political education. An adequate approach to peace education, I propose in a more general vein, ought to focus on conflict not as an aberration, but as a part of our cultural mindsets and conceptions of the world. An example from the campaign for the rights of labour migrants' children is used to demonstrate a different approach to political education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-119
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Peace Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Gal Levy (BA, MA, Tel Aviv University; PhD, LSE) is a senior teaching and research faculty at the Open University, and the founding director of NYU Tel Aviv. He studies the relationships between education, ethnicity, religion and citizenship, and has published on ethnic politics and education, the education reform and the Palestinian society, and on ethnic and class voting. Recently, he completed a research project on alternative education in the Palestinian society in Israel (Israel Science Foundation grant no. 217/09). Currently, he studies acts of citizenship in the Arab and Jewish societies, and particularly post 2011 urban political activism. His chapter on Contested Citizenship of the Arab Spring and Beyond is forthcoming in The Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies (edited by E. F. Isin and P. Nyers, 2014).


  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • activist citizenship
  • conflict education
  • labour migrants citizenship rights
  • peace education Israel


Dive into the research topics of 'Is there a place for peace education? Political education and citizenship activism in Israeli schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this