Erik van Ommering

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+31 20 59 86704
faculteit der sociale wetenschappen ( afd. sociale en culturele antropologie )
PhD Candidate

Please call me or send an e-mail for an appointment.

Promo Master Anthropology


  • Anthropology of children and education
  • Conflict, violence, identity, religion, ethnicity 
  • Development studies
  • Middle East (Lebanon)
  • Eastern Europe (Poland) 




Schooling in conflict. A child-oriented, ethnographic study into the linkages between education and violent conflict in Lebanon
This PhD research departs from the observation that both academics and development practitioners have experienced difficulties in explaining the linkages between formal education and violent conflict. On the one hand, schools are considered supportive of processes of peacebuilding and human development, while on the other hand, they may reinforce social inequalities and conflict among children and their wider communities. The research sheds light on this quandary through a child-oriented, ethnographic analysis of primary school communities in the Middle Eastern state of Lebanon. Three interrelated fields of enquiry are addressed: 1. The impact of contemporary violent conflict at the community level; 2. The local practice of schooling in conflict-affected societies; and 3. Children’s experiences of, and engagement in, schooling and conflict. By synthesising these fields, the study contributes to academic debates that centre on the micro-dynamics of violent conflict, the anthropology of children, and the non-Western practice and organisation of education. In addition, it aims to support policy-making by making its outcomes available to development agencies and educational staff in Lebanon and beyond.

Supervision: Prof. dr. Birgit Meyer and dr. Sandra J.T.M. Evers


Research background

The PhD research builds on prior field research that Erik conducted as an MA student in Social and Cultural Anthropology at VU University. Read an executive summary of the thesis or an article (in Dutch) that was published in the Ad Valvas university weekly.



Publications (Source: METIS VU)


Additional publications:

  • Contributions to the Standplaats Wereld weblog.
  • 2009 ‘The Roles of Faith-based Educational Institutions in Fragile States’. Research Report, ICCO Alliance working group Religion and Education. Utrecht: ICCO Alliance.
  • 2007 ‘Learning for Peace or War. Dilemmas in Shaping Children’s Attitudes towards Non-violence and Coexistence at Schools in Lebanon’. Master’s Thesis, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, VU University Amsterdam.