Author Bio

Michalinos Zembylas is Professor of Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies at the Open University of Cyprus and Honorary Professor, Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. He has written extensively on emotion and affect in relation to social justice pedagogies, intercultural and peace education, human rights education and citizenship education. His recent books include: Critical Human Rights Education: Advancing Social-Justice-Oriented Educational Praxes (with A. Keet), and Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education (co-edited with V. Bozalek, R. Braidotti, and T. Shefer). In 2016, he received the Distinguished Researcher Award in “Social Sciences and Humanities” from the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation.


This article argues that interventions in HRE and PE that aim to decolonize understandings and praxes of peace and human rights will inevitably have to address the issue of decolonial ethics. Decolonial ethics imagines a set of ethical orientations that confront conventional assumptions about culture and history and challenge the normally uninterrogated consequences of coloniality (which is an enduring process that is still very much with us today, as opposed to colonialism which is understood as a temporal period of oppression that has come and gone) and Eurocentrism in disciplinary discourses and practices. Although both HRE and PE have historically claimed an ethical mission that has attempted in the past to articulate responses to the ethical problem of how to struggle against violations of rights and to reinstate respect and protection of rights and positive peace in the world, both conventional and progressive approaches have been generally unreflective about the ethical implications of coloniality and Eurocentrism in these fields. The article explores how decolonial reflections on ethics sketch a different path in HRE and PE from the familiar ethical theories along three directions: border thinking, being human as praxis, and pluriversality.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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