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Building Peace from Within: Perspectives of Syrian Youth
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study is based on the perspectives of Syrian youth, on how they can contribute to and participate in future peace initiatives for Syria. The purpose of the study is to investigate opportunities and barriers to youth’s participation for peace, as well as the instrumental role of education in learning about nonviolent pathways for change. Thus, the research is conducted through the collection of narratives with a digital survey-interview method, followed by a thematic analysis with primarily inductive approach, putting the views and ideas of the youth at the centre of the study. The results from the narratives show that the youth have agency and hope to act for positive change in their societies, although they simultaneously feel restrained by suffering, due to imposed restrictions, increasing deprivation, and the on-going violent conflict. Following the analysis, the final themes are discussed against existing research on the topics of peace, participation, and education. The importance of education as a tool for peace and nonviolence was confirmed by the research participants’ strong emphasis on the benefits of education. Additionally, the youth propose that education for peace should include practical elements, and that practical skills are also part of building peace. The barriers in the narratives are discussed as something that can restrict people’s opportunities to return at all, however, the worries are accompanied by strong beliefs in cooperation, dialogue, and intergroup networks of care and respect. The final conclusions include emphasis on the need to support existing local and grassroots initiatives for peace, ideally through multi-sectoral approaches, incorporating support both from the humanitarian and the peacebuilding sectors. Furthermore, the youth participants show a great will to partake in creating positive change and building sustainable peace, nonetheless, they also need support to manage current barriers, including to put an end to the violent conflict.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
peace, peacebuilding, youth participation, education, humanitarian action
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-389644OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-389644DiVA, id: diva2:1338122
Subject / course
International Humanitarian Action
Educational program
Master Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-23 Created: 2019-07-19 Last updated: 2019-07-23Bibliographically approved

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Building Peace from Within - Emma Soedergren Wall, 2019(926 kB)29 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Output format
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