7 March 2019
“This excellent, well researched and wide ranging series of case studies sheds light on a key issue of our time, namely how to transform the political economy of education systems to enable learning for all.” Leon Tikly, Professor in Education, School of Education, University of Bristol
Why have many developing countries that have succeeded in expanding access to education made such limited progress on improving learning outcomes? There is a growing recognition that the learning crisis constitutes a significant dimension of global inequality and also that educational outcomes in developing countries are shaped by political as well as socio-economic and other factors. The Politics of Education in Developing Countries focuses on how politics shapes the capacity and commitment of elites to tackle the learning crisis in six developing countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda.
The problem of education quality is serious across the Global South. The Politics of Education in Developing Countries: From Schooling to Learning deploys a new conceptual framework – the domains of power approach – to show how the type of political settlement shapes the level of elite commitment and state capacity to improving learning outcomes. The domain of education is prone to being highly politicised, as it offers an important source of both rents and legitimacy to political elites, and can be central to paradigmatic elite ideas around nation-building and modernity. Of particular importance is the relative strength of coalitions pushing for access, as against those focused on issues of higher quality education. This book concludes with a discussion of entry points and strategies for thinking and working politically in relation to education quality reforms and critical commentaries.