Date: Tuesday 13 May 2014 17:00 - 19:00
Main speaker: Professor of Sociology Ansgar Weymann
Location: Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana
Education policy is a core element of the state’s sovereignty and autonomy as a means of integrating society through culture and ideology, as well as a key tool for improving political power and legitimacy of the state through meritocracy and fueling and stimulating economic growth via human capital investment. The assumed potential of education has made education policy a politicum.
It took centuries before education policy turned into this unquestioned prerogative of the modern state. The rise of the education state comprises major transitions: the early diffusion of founding ideas in Humanism, the Reformation and Enlightenment, the expansion and improvement of institutions in eighteenth century central-state building, and the development of the Western nation-state in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth, human capital, century the education state reached its pinnacle. In the US however, decades of unprecedented growth is followed by stagflation in terms of educational attainment and economic returns to human capital investments. Has the rise of the education state reached its limits?
The front-page coverage of education in leading American, British, French, and German newspapers decreased considerably suggesting the weakening of trust in the national Western education-state. At the beginning of the twentieth century, in a period of victorious nations and empires, there was extensive front-page coverage of domestic and international education policy. In the second half of the century, in a period of polymorphous welfare states, education turned into a cure-all panacea and front-page coverage halved. Most notably, articles on international issues of education waned. The ascent and descent of education policy coverage is closely connected to the rise and fall of states and classes.
In the progressive transformation from western to non-Western globalization, the status of education as a prerogative of the Western nation-state was reduced. At the same time, Adam Smith’s political economy of education arrived worldwide. For Europe, the prospects are Internationalization and 'Hellenism’, the latter a status of appreciated but passed splendour in a world of superior forces.
Further bibliographical references:
Kerstin Martens, Alexander-Kenneth Nagel, Michael Windzio and Ansgar Weymann 2010: Transformation of Education Policy. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Ansgar Weymann 2014: States, Markets and Education. The Rise and Limits of the Education State. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Organiser: Hans Peter Blossfeld ( EUI )
Registration: If interested please register by sending an email to Alina.Vlad@EUI.eu
Organized and financed by: the European Research Council within the framework of the eduLIFE project.