Edited By Jürgen Schriewer and Jürgen K. Schriewer
II Understanding the Dynamics of the Modern World
Discourse Formation in Comparative Education 88 reduced, understanding the state, especially as it has changed, is as im- portant to an understanding of the central questions of comparative edu- cation policy and practice as ever. My starting point is that conceiving globalization, the changing rela- tionships between states and supranational forces, as a threat to compara- tive education has the argument the wrong way round. What has to be explained is as much the traditionally assumed autonomy of the state as its alleged current loss of autonomy. States have never been as autono- mous as has been assumed and proclaimed in comparative education – and this means all states, to a greater or lesser degree. It is not just mechanisms like cultural imperialism or neo-colonialism 3 that limit states' autonomy. At least two other supranational forces have always operated to limit that autonomy for all states. One is economic. No state is autonomous of its economic base, and there have been no exclusively national economies for centuries. The ability of states to act is then al- ways limited, however remotely and apparently inconsequentially by the wider economic systems of which they are part. The other limitation on states' educational autonomy is cultural. This is most clearly demon- strated in the impressive body of work built up by the "sociological insti- tutionalists." 4 Their argument is that the nature of education systems, and particularly their similarity of form and content, cannot be explained by national level factors. Rather, education systems, curricular categories...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.