This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

Click HERE for an overall conference venue map
Back To Schedule
Thursday, November 28 • 3:30pm - 4:45pm
The Politics of Education

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

 Leon Goldsmith
‘Dancing Between Raindrops’: Politics Education in an Authoritarian State – the Sultanate of Oman 2012-2019

When it comes to political and intellectual freedoms most portrayals of the Arabian Peninsula continue to depict an arid region. This perception extends to education and especially education in political studies or critical social sciences. Indeed, public universities in the Gulf monarchies are more readily labelled regime instruments than ‘critic and conscience of society’. This image of an intellectual desert does not, however, fully capture a reality that is more complex. The first purpose of this article is to help sketch together new empirical outlines of the actual educational and intellectual landscape of the Arabian Peninsula by documenting the emergence of politics education in the Sultanate of Oman from 2012. A second objective is to raise new theoretical questions in the post-Arab Spring literature regarding the politics of education in the Middle East in general and education in ‘Politics' (or Political Science) more specifically. The research is informed by participant observation from 2013 until 2019 when the author was one of the faculty members of Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) political science department. Using ideas of the underappreciated Syrian thinker Abdul Rahman Al-Kawakibi (d. 1901) the paper explores the theoretical implications of politics education in terms of its substance and objectives in the Middle East. The main themes that arose are that there seems far greater substance to politics education in Oman than could be expected in an absolute authoritarian political context. Another finding was the emerging disequilibrium between the socialising and intellectual capacity-building functions of politics education in Oman and the Gulf monarchies.

Alejandra del Pilar Ortiz-Ayala
Disarming minds: State armed actors and persistence of Violence lessons from Colombia

After a peace agreement was signed, to what extent soldiers from the State Army contribute with the creation of a permissive environment of violence? During and after the cold war, the U.S.-led anti-Communist doctrine, which influenced the political exclusion and roots of the armed conflict in Colombia, that translated into a definition of who are the internal enemies and threats. This created an ideological bias inside the minds of state armed actors that influenced their willingness to protect certain group of civilians. Using experimental surveys and inspiration from the devoted actor model, my research indicates how state armed actors have an idea about: who does and doesn’t deserve to be protected after a peace agreement was signed. Some results suggest that ideology remains an important stimulus in soldier’s mindset affecting their behavior. This research contributes with an unexplored dimension in Security Sector Reform, the individual level of analysis. It that provides international lessons about the biases in the minds of the security actors and the creation of a permissive environment of violence against certain groups because their identity group.


Janine Hayward

Janine Hayward

avatar for Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala

Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala

Phd Student, University of Otago
Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala is a PhD. Student at the National Centre of Peace and Conflict studies working on the role of the state security sector on the perpetuation of political violence in post-peace agreements societies. She holds a Master on Political Science with minors in Comparative... Read More →
avatar for Leon Goldsmith

Leon Goldsmith

Senior Lecturer, University of Otago
The Middle East and the Arab Gulf.Identity politics.Political participation. Political institutions / behaviour.

Thursday November 28, 2019 3:30pm - 4:45pm NZDT
E5 Engineering Core

Attendees (9)