To investigate the spread of peace education (PE), we examined 685 documents in SCOPUS between 1970 and 2018 in 70 countries and triangulated the information with 11369 news articles and 22 international organisationś founding dates. PE emerged in scientific databases in the 1970s, lost momentum in 1990 and then globalised after 2003. PE’s institutionalisation was furthered by: (a) the increasing search for discourses that highlighted individual agency of self-declared ‘peace educators’; (b) educational expansion that generated a greater demand for so-called best practices; and (c) the active role of professionals working on organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the identified international organisations. We recognised five loosely coupled narratives: PE’s (a) philosophical foundations and relationship to critical pedagogy; (b) application to improve international relationships; c) solution to internal conflicts; (d) measurements of interventions; (e) linkages to religion. We reflect on the implications of PE as an educational discourse in curricular reforms.