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Becoming bridge citizens: Educating for social justice in conflict-affected settings

After a year of working on this paper alongside other commitments, the paper co-authored by Stella Mi-cheong Cheong, Kamille Beye, and me was ready to be presented at the Comparative and International Education Society annual conference in Washington DC.

Kamille, Stella and I, together with our co-panelist Jennifer Karen Ponce Cori (University of Pittsburgh) who gave a fascinating presentation about citizenship education in Peru.

Our paper draws on the empirical work done by Kamille in Liberia and Stella among North Korean migrants in South Korea to fine-tune Stella's theoretical concept, 'bridging civic identity', which we propose as an educational aim in conflict-affected settings, particularly where the conflicts are not primarily identity-driven.

It was my first time to attend CIES and I was overwhelmed by its size: 4000 participants (in-person and online), which was huge compared to the conferences I'm accustomed to in the philosophy of education space, where the numbers of participants are in the hundreds at most. It was the most truly international conference I've attended, with all six inhabited continents represented, and it was heartening to see, not just academics, but good representation from the development and humanitarian sector and other professionals.

The days were very full and very stimulating, and it was a pleasure to meet new colleagues, and also bump into some familiar faces.

Apart from our paper presentation, we also joined a round-table where we were able to talk about our podcast, which I'll write about in other blog post.

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