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01 June 2021
Historical and contemporary perspectives on commercial activities in Nordic
Across the Nordic countries, private enterprises and foundations are playing an increasingly important role in practicing, thinking about, and governing education. Spanning publishing houses, global tech-companies, and local start-ups, the scope and range of private sector involvement in the field of education varies widely – just like the historical relations, policies, and different types of public-private partnerships undergirding them. This special issue sets out to examine and map this multiplicity. Inviting comparative perspectives on privatization, marketization, and commercialization in education, the special issue aims to shed light on the differences and similarities in the involvement of commercial actors in schools across the Nordic countries. The special issue hereby aims to serve as a foundation for discussing the legal, pedagogical, and political stakes of imbricating formal education processes, institutions, and practices with corporate interests.
Rather than a dichotomous relationship between public and private, we encourage contributors to focus on the blurred boundaries and material reconfigurations that are presently enacted through the involvement of commercial services, philanthropic funds, and commercially oriented networks in educational institutions and governance processes. Specifically, we invite perspectives on:
- Historical and contemporary relations between public education institutions and private enterprises and foundations;
- Boundary spanning practices and strategies of legitimization within the private sector in education;
- Enactments of markets or quasi-markets within existing frameworks for public education governance, including school choice-policies, outsourcing, enterprise-driven schools, and initiatives related to New Public Management;
- Network ethnographies of commercial agents and/or public-private partnerships;
- “Back-door” reforms based on introducing commercial concepts, quality criteria, or learning goals in schools outside the auspices of political accountability;
Please submit a 450-500 word abstract by February 1st. First versions of the papers are due by June 1st.
Lucas Cone & Lejf Moos
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