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Living in Harmony?

“Casteism”, Communalism, and Regionalism in Indian Social Science Textbooks

Basabi Khan Banerjee and Georg Stöber

Three societal lines of conflict, “casteism”, communalism, and regionalism, are regarded as severe challenges in present-day India. This article discusses and compares differences between presentations of these lines of conflict in six textbook series for social sciences prepared by the Indian states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, and by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in New Delhi. The variations in perspective, scope, and approach are related to changing educational approaches and to specific discourses of identity politics, which may be explained in terms of the impact of different positions adopted by states and the union towards the issues, and in terms of the discursive dominance of specific sociopolitical viewpoints.

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Because I am a Girl

In the Shadow of War

Nikki van der Gaag, Sarah Henriks, and Feyi Rodway

Conflict affects girls differently from boys—their rights are ignored, their responsibilities changed, and their lives altered forever by war. Girls face discrimination on at least two counts: because they are young and because they are female. We focus here on the changing nature of war and conflict and what this means for girls' health, economic well-being, physical security and protection, and also for their resilience and empowerment. We examine how girls are uniquely affected by, and respond to, conflict, its build-up and its aftermath. We assess the role of the institutions that have a duty to protect and support girls in conflict-affected states, and explore the reasons why policy actors do not take girls into account in their responses to violent conflict. We outline recommendations for action in terms of girls' education, harnessing girls' resilience and encouraging their empowerment.

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Adolescent Girls with Disabilities in Humanitarian Settings

“I Am Not ‘Worthless’—I Am a Girl with a Lot to Share and Offer”

Emma Pearce, Kathryn Paik, and Omar J. Robles

Introduction Humanitarian crises are on the rise, with conflicts and natural disasters contributing to the greatest forced displacement of people since World War II. In 2014, over 59 million were displaced worldwide because of persecution, conflict

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The Inner Conflict

How Palestinian Students in Israel React to the Dual Narrative Approach Concerning the Events of 1948

Neveen Eid

This article addresses the Dual Narrative Approach (DNA) as applied to a sample group of Palestinian students in Israel. This approach is implemented in the dual narrative textbook developed by the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME). The textbook was originally developed for history teaching in both the state of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. The particular situation of Palestinians living in Israel raises an important question of the implementation of this approach in Palestinian-Israeli schools. This sample group is particularly interesting as within the State of Israel only the Jewish-Israeli historical narrative is officially taught in schools, even in the Arab-Palestinian schools. For many of the students tested in this study, this textbook was their first exposure to their own narrative. This article is an empirical study that uses the "mixed methods approach," investigating the students' reactions to the dual narrative textbook with specific regard to the narrative of the events of 1948, one of the most contentious periods for these two nations.

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Textbook Conflicts in South Asia

Politics of Memory and National Identity

Deepa Nair

The aftermath of World War II saw the emergence of many new nation-states on the Asian geopolitical map and a simultaneous attempt by these states to claim the agency of nationhood and to create an aura of a homogenous national identity. Textbooks have been the most potent tools used by nations to inject an idea of a national memory - in many instances with utter disregard for fundamental contradictions within the socio-political milieu. In South Asia, political sensitivity towards transmission of the past is reflected in the attempts of these states to revise or rewrite versions which are most consonant with the ideology of dominant players (political parties, religious organizations, ministries of education, publishing houses, NGOs, etc.) concerning the nature of the state and the identity of its citizens. This paper highlights the fundamental fault lines in the project of nation-building in states in South Asia by locating instances of the revision or rewriting of dominant interpretations of the past. By providing an overview of various revisionist exercises in South Asia, an attempt will be made to highlight important issues that are fundamental to the construction of identities in this diverse continent.

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Sealing the Past, Facing the Future

An Evaluation of a Program to Support the Reintegration of Girls and Young Women Formerly Associated with Armed Groups and Forces in Sierra Leone

Alastair Ager, Lindsay Stark, Joanna Olsen, Mike Wessells, and Neil Boothby

This paper reports on an evaluation of a program in Sierra Leone that sought to support the community reintegration of young women and girls formerly associated with armed groups and forces. In the absence of baseline data, we used locally-derived indicators of reintegration and village timelines to conduct a retrospective cohort study of the progress of 142 girls and young women towards achievement of community reintegration following their experience of abduction. Although girls and young women in both intervention and comparison communities had made progress towards integration, the intervention was associated with improved mental health outcomes and higher ratings on some aspects of marriage quality. For those who had found the greatest challenges in reintegrating, the intervention additionally appeared to support community acceptance and inclusion in women's bondo activities.

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Dmitry Shlapentokh

Events of the distant past can become the subjects of animated online debates, revealing high levels of ethnic tension between ethnic Russians and minorities. This has been the case with disputes about a recent Russian movie on Genghis Khan, for instance, which is nearing completion in Yakutia. The Internet debate forum has revealed several models of the relationship between ethnic Russians and minorities. First, there is the Eurasian model, which implies a "symbiosis" between these two groups with ethnic Russians playing the lead roles. Second, there is the Asiatic version of Eurasianism, where the Asian minorities play the roles of leaders. Third, there is the concept of Russia for Russians.

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Militarization via Education

A 1945 Primer from Socialist Macedonia

Darko Leitner-Stojanov

This article examines the textual and visual content of the first postwar primer in socialist Yugoslav Macedonia in order to understand the messages that it contains relating to techniques of militarization. After outlining the historical context in which this primer was developed, with reference to teachers’ memories and archival sources, the article analyzes the role of teaching materials in connection with the experience of the Second World War and the politics of the new communist state. This content analysis identifies six militaristic messages and values communicated to the pupils, who are addressed as future soldiers.

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Muhammad Ayaz Naseem and Georg Stöber

The concept of identity has evolved from an essentialist notion of a dominant group (which largely disregards the existence of plural identities or “patchwork identities” and their contextuality)2 into a notion that recognizes the discursive and fluid constitution of identities that are “constantly in the process of change and transformation.”3 Beyond academic debate about definitions, identity remains a relevant category in politics and society. Identity politics mobilize followers and supporters and may foster nation building. They are seldom unchallenged, for different discourses of identity often struggle for supremacy.

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Yoshiko Nozaki and Mark Selden

Japan's right-wing nationalists have launched three major attacks on school textbooks over the second half of the twentieth century. Centered on the treatment of colonialism and war, the attacks surfaced in 1955, the late 1970s, and the mid-1990s. This article examines three moments in light of Japanese domestic as well as regional and global political contexts to gain insight into the persistent problem of the Pacific War in historical memory and its refraction in textbook treatments. There are striking similarities as well as critical di erences in the ways the attacks on textbooks recurred and in the conditions of political instability.