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The multi-dimensional politics of education policy in the knowledge economy: the case of Italy (1996–2008)

Durazzi, Niccolo, Pavolini, Emmanuele and Battaglia, Fabio (2023) The multi-dimensional politics of education policy in the knowledge economy: the case of Italy (1996–2008). Social Policy and Administration, 57 (2). 144 - 157. ISSN 0144-5596

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Identification Number: 10.1111/spol.12884


Despite rhetorical agreement amongst 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 whilst 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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s).
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2023 15:03
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 04:54

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