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Governance and Inclusive Development

Politics of Education, Gender and Development


This research cluster is part of GID and its interdisciplinary members engage in research and teaching on the politics of education, gender, inclusive development and social justice. Our part of this team aims to critically examine the role accorded to education and educational actors in international development debates, policies and programmes. We seek to increase understanding of the role of formal, non-formal and informal educators, and young people in promoting social justice and gender equality concerns around the world.

We contribute to debates on inclusive development from social justice and critical theoretical perspectives, examining the governance and politics of education systems with a specific focus on hegemonic and counter-hegemonic actors and processes. Our work is informed by critical feminist, intersectional, decolonial and “Southern” scholarship.


The work on issues related to education and international development of this research group have developed at the UvA since the early 1990s and was firmly institutionalised since the initiation of the IS Academie on Education and International Development (EID). This partnership was co-funded in several phases between 2005-2016 by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and aimed at bridging and connecting these two spheres through its publication and dissemination strategies.

Focus areas of research and teaching

Thematically the team engages with a wide range of topics and geographical regions, with a particular focus on contexts and periods marked by social and political transformation. A central concern within the group relates to questions of social justice and specifically, the relationships between (formal and non-formal) education systems, policies, initiatives and practices and social (in)equalities from an intersectional perspective.

Building on the work of the broader GID Research Group, we deploy a multi-scalar lens to explore inter-relationships between education and international development aid and (research) partnerships; health systems and actors; processes of political transition and peacebuilding; civil society engagement, and  humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.

Members of our group examine the multiple faces of formal and non-formal education with respect to:

  • State, statehood and nation-building, and citizenship;
  • Longer-term sustainable peacebuilding processes and/or  short-term humanitarian responses;
  • Promotion of gender justice, and sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • Notions of agency and empowerment, hegemonic and counter-hegemonic actors and movements

Approaches to research and teaching

We adopt a collaborative approach to research and teaching, as exemplified by our involvement in numerous research consortia and networks, and our focus on supporting efforts to bridge research, policy and practice. Our collaborative approach to research is, furthermore, driven by a commitment to ethics, capacity building and transformative methodologies.

Examples of important GEDS networks include those:

  1. within the University of Amsterdam: such as CSDS (, ARC-GS (, Amsterdam Centre for Conflict Studies (, NALACS (
  2. In the Netherlands, such as the Knowledge Platforms SRoL, SRHR, Sharenet, Dutch Coalition on Youth, Peace, Security, Porticus, and collaborations with various civil society organisations including Oxfam-Novib, War Child, Safe the Children, Aflatoun, etc.
  3. International networks and collaborations, such as the Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, UNICEF, DfID/Cambridge Education,UNSCR2250 and the Advisory Committee, INEE’s working group in Education and Policy, CIES and the ECE SIG , GLOBED, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Xavier Bonal), DEC, UNESCO, UNFPA, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ICAIOS (Aceh), Norwegian Refugee Council (Master student thesis projects), University of Auckland, Chicago (NORC), Sussex, Ulster, Antwerp, Sydney, Monash, New South Wales, Western Washington, Florence, Porto, Eduardo Mondlane, University College London, LSE/Institute of Education.