Book review: ‘From Classrooms to Conflict in Rwanda,’ published in Comparative Education Review

esidIn the wake of the twentieth anniversary of the genocide, Elisabeth King’s book From Classrooms to Conflict in Rwanda offers a timely and persuasive contribution to both discussions. My review of her book was published in Comparative Education Review. Drawing from Kenneth Bush and Diana Saltarelli’s seminal work (The Two Faces of Education in Ethnic Conflict [Rome: UNICEF, 2000]), King uses historical, contemporary, and comparative perspectives to illustrate how the role of education in conflict is understood to have two faces: that education at once be a driver for peace, reconciliation, and unity and also for conflict, division, and inequality. To me, the strength of her book is in her detailed historical analysis – a perspective that enriched my own scholarship. Throughout the book, King focuses on the fluid and ongoing processes of centralization and consolidation of power and the role of formal education in this process. Doing so provides insight into the continuities, transformations, and ruptures that have given rise to the contemporary Rwandan state, and offers a unique window of analysis through which to consider the emergence of the formal educational system.

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