Abstract / Description of output
Despite rhetorical agreement among all major political-economic actors around the importance of education policy in the knowledge economy, the reform of education systems remains a complex political endeavour. The article explores the politics of education policy by focussing on its multi-dimensionality. It argues that education systems simultaneously perform three functions: they distribute educational opportunities; they provide skills to the labour market; and they are a source of public sector employment. It is argued that policy change in one dimension is likely to trigger spill-over effects onto the others, giving rise to complex political dynamics at the intersection of the parliamentary and corporatist arenas. It is in this context that centre-left and centre-right parties (try to) pursue distributional goals while being pressured by different interest groups. The theoretical argument is explored empirically through a detailed reconstruction of over a decade of intense reform activity in the Italian upper-secondary education system.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- early years and schooling
- politics of social and public policies