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Advancing Peace Culture in the Basque Autonomous Community: The Basque Education Plan for Peace and Human Rights (2008–2011)


  • Stuart A. Durkin

    1. University of Aberdeen
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    • Stuart A. Durkin is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. He completed his Ph.D. at Lancaster University in 2011. His main research interests lie in Basque politics and ethno-nationalism, and strategies aimed at transforming ethno-nationalist conflict, particularly peace education.


Approved in December 2007, the Basque Education Plan for Peace and Human Rights (2008–2011) represents the most sophisticated policy development of its kind in over thirty years of autonomous governments. While by no means a panacea for ethno-nationalist conflict in this context, the policy is nevertheless a significant development and carries the potential to make a substantial contribution to the cause of sustainable peacebuilding and reconciliation. By way of both an exposition of its principal aims and objectives, as well as an analysis of the political furore that accompanied its development, the article exposes the policy's principal limitation – its tendency towards indirectness. The article argues, however, that in structural terms peace education is advanced through the creation of a coordinating forum between the Basque government and organized Basque civil society. Moreover, despite this tendency towards indirectness, the policy initiates the necessary task of approaching issues hitherto largely avoided.

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