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Identity Policies of Education: Struggles for Inclusion and Exclusion in Peru and Colombia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lorenza FontanaORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Policy initiatives that seek to account for ethno-cultural differences in education and schooling have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. These include affirmative action measures and bilingual education models. The rationale for the implementation of these policies focuses on their potential to rectify historical discrimination by both levelling horizontal inequalities and granting equal value to different cultures and languages in the schooling process. In this framework, however, ethnic communities are often treated as discrete and static social aggregates, and social heterogeneity and spillover effects between groups are disregarded. This paper draws on empirical case studies from Colombia and Peru to show how identity policies of education can increase inter-ethnic competition, leading to protracted social conflicts. These outcomes, beyond negatively impacting local communities, raise important dilemmas surrounding the theoretical and operational foundations of these popular policy measures

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fontana LB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Education Policy

Year: 2019

Volume: 34

Issue: 3

Pages: 351-373

Online publication date: 30/10/2018

Acceptance date: 07/10/2018

Date deposited: 08/10/2018

ISSN (print): 0268-0939

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5106

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2018.1535092

Notes: This research benefitted from the support of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action - Project CONRICONF No. 655710


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Funder referenceFunder name
655710Commission of the European Communities