Replicating the Subjective
: An Analysis of Practitioner attitudes to the replication of Peace Education Projects

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    In a world which continues to see war and conflict based on otherness and differences, Peace Education can play a significant role in tackling the negative perceptions of ‘the other’ to minimise incidences of violence. Through adopting a transformative approach, Peace Education practitioners can begin to address this mentality through targeted interventions and activity. In an ideal world, Peace Education would be preventative, rather than reactionary, woven into the fabric of society through curricular and extra-curricular activities. However, the realities of the contemporary world mean that interventions are usually left to third parties such as charities, trusts and other similar organisations, all of which need money and resources to deliver. In the post-2008 economic crash era, funding has become increasingly tight and donors wish to know that their money is being used wisely.

    The issue of donor requirements therefore becomes pertinent, with stipulations such as theories of change, evidence of impact, sustainability and value for money being required during the funding application stages as part of standard practice. More recently, requirements from many donors now include the notion of replication: how can the activities, learning and/or impact of one intervention be repeated elsewhere with guarantees that the same results will be gained? And whilst most agree that replication is something to aspire to, a universal definition remains elusive and robust evidence regarding its efficacy is often lacking. Indeed, the notion of replication is challenging within academia in general, which makes this an incredibly difficult subject to approach, particularly in an area that has to adapt to context. With roots in the physical and natural sciences, replication infers the ability to repeat an experiment where all the variables can be controlled in a controllable environment. This does not translate well when subjective elements such as humans as participants are introduced, which poses problems to social research and social projects. This PhD explores the academia behind replication and Peace Education and seeks to better understand replication within projects and interventions from a practitioner perspective.

    Adopting a Grounded Theory methodology, this research draws from academic literature, primary interviews and other relevant secondary sources to explore replication within Peace Education projects, with particular attention to how replication can be realised within Peace Education projects, how practitioners interpret and implement donor requirements and to what extent can outputs of Peace Education projects be realised.

    In addition, there are parallels within this research to the state of Higher Education in the UK, where there is increasing pressure to produce replicable outputs against a backdrop of the perceived ‘replication crisis’ as well as increasing governmental and managerial pressure to deliver high-impact research and Teaching Excellence. Therefore, this research also seeks to explore the relevance of replication within Peace Education to the notion of replication within Higher Education Research. Linked to this, a secondary objective of the thesis also identifies parallels between the generalisability of the findings to the concept of replication within Higher Education.

    This thesis finds that replication occupies a difficult space within Peace Education and requires a different interpretation, one more akin to the concept of qualitative generalisabilty, when compared to considerations of traditional, scientific replication. Rather than dealing with wholesale duplication of elements, replicability is found within the sharing of best practice and requires a strong professional relationship between all parties. The need to embrace context and subjectivity creates some interesting challenges for practitioners and aligns with some of the issues found within the perceived replication crisis within academic research.
    Date of AwardFeb 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorChristine Broughan (Supervisor), Alan Hunter (Supervisor), Carol Rank (Supervisor) & Marwan Darweish (Supervisor)


    • Peace
    • Education
    • Grounded Theory
    • Social Sciences

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