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The Governance of Educational Welfare Markets

A Comparative Analysis of the European Social Fund in Five Countries

Edited By Daniel Pop and Cristina Stanus

This book is a first exploratory inquiry into possible educational selectivity effects of the European Social Fund (ESF). It assesses the extent of the gap between the social policy objectives set through regulatory competences in multi-level governance and the structure of incentives it breeds in practice, with a broad range of implications for the capacity of the government to control for an equitable distribution of services at the community level. The chapters emphasize the educational selectivity involved in national policy decisions concerning ESF implementation in the five countries, the role of informal mechanisms in fine-tuning implementation, the negative effects of formalization and failures in accommodating the complexity of goals which characterizes the ESF, as well as the overall fairness of ESF implementation towards the most disadvantaged groups in society. The empirical analysis suggests that social-service delivery contracting as an instrument of governance is no longer regulating against risks for beneficiaries, but fuels increased social division in access to public services.
The book is the result of the Educational selectivity effects of the European Social Fund project (July 2012 and December 2013), developed with the support of the Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations.
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Notes on contributors


← 226 | 227 → Notes on contributors

ANNA CSONGOR received her teaching degree at ELTE University, Budapest. Since then, her whole career has focused on Roma issues: as a teacher, social worker, researcher, practitioner or developer. She worked as a sociologist in the Hungarian Institute of Educational Research and the Municipal Institute of Pedagogical Research, focusing on the education of Roma children. In the last twenty years, she has led the Autonomia Foundation, focusing on local development in Roma communities nationwide. She is currently lecturer at ELTE University Budapest and vocational director of the professional master programme on Community and Civic Studies.

SASHKA DIMOVA is a PhD student in Economics at Aarhus University, Denmark, where she teaches microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics to bachelor students. She holds an MA in Economics from the Central European University in Budapest. In February 2013, she received an elite scholarship (EliteForsk travel grant) awarded to talented PhD students in Denmark in order to stay longer at the best research institutes across the world. From September 2013, she has been visiting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she works in the field of labor and education economics under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Doyle. During her studies, she designed and carried out data analysis for the Education Support programme sponsored by the Open Society Institute.

MAREK HOJSÍK is an independent consultant in the area of Roma inclusion. Marek holds an MA in Political Science and is currently a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. His research interests focus on housing, de/segregation, social policy and EU Structural Funds. He is actively participating in the planning of the next EU Funds’ programming period 2014–20. From 2010 to 2012, he was director ← 227 | 228 → general of the Social Development Fund, at the Slovak national agency for social inclusion responsible also for ESF implementation. Previously, he was involved in the launch of the Making the Most EU Funds for Roma project in Slovakia. Between 2004 and 2007, he worked as advisor to the Slovak Government Commissioner for Roma Communities and participated in the development and monitoring of public policies.

DANIEL POP is a political economist by training, and earned his PhD in Political Science from the Central European University. He has been an associate lecturer at the Babes-Bolyai University Faculty of Political Science since 2003. Between 2003 and 2008, he led the Romanian Public Policy Center, a research think-tank. In 2008 he joined the Education Support programme and since June 2010 he has been based at the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center in Cluj, where he directs policy research initiatives within the Open Society Extended Education Network, and also leads ESP efforts to build networks of commitment and strengthen new forms of civil activism. Daniel has initiated and led several research fellowship programmes and contributed to the design and implementation of major international research undertakings.

DANA PRAŽÁKOVÁ holds a PhD in Didactics of Mathematics and a Master’s in International Relations. Currently, she is working within the Education for Competitiveness Operational programme in the field of individual national projects. She actively participates in the preparation of new EU programming period in the field of assessment and key-­competencies development in the education system. She is a co-author of the new Conceptual Plan for the Czech School Inspectorate 2014+.

CRISTINA STĂNUȘ is a lecturer at the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Political Science Unit. She holds a BA and MA in political science and a PhD in political philosophy. Her research interests focus on the comparative study of local government and politics, educational policy and political participation. Among her publications we mention ‘Trade Unions, NGOs, and Social Solidarity in Romania’ (in Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe, ed. M. Ellison, Policy Press, 2012) and a chapter on the second tier ← 228 | 229 → of local government in Romania (in The Second Tier of Local Government in Europe, eds H. Heinelt and J. Bertrana Horta, Routledge, 2011). She has worked as a consultant for the UNDP RBEC Bratislava Regional Centre, UNDP Romania and the Educational Support Programme of the Open Society Institute. ← 229 | 230 →