The global political economy of education in the twenty-first century

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The growth of education globally recently facilitated by market forces has created the need for a discussion about the conceptual framework in which this has taken place. This expansion has occurred in complex national socio/economic/political environments, often without uniformity, but with some common market led features which prompted some observers to suggest there is a now a global political economy of education (Verger et al., 2016). This chapter examines the historical development of a global political economy of education by considering the origins and development of market forces in education as it is seen through different perspectives. Through the 19th century the global development of education generally followed the model in England which saw an increasing role for the state, and state funding in education, although some countries such had Prussia had a system of free education funded by state which began in the 17th Century. It considers the ideas that placed education as a state concern in England during the late 18th and early 19th Century and follows the conceptual debate about the role of the state and the place of markets forces in providing for it. By following developments in the political economy of education in England and Wales to the present day and comparing these to educational developments elsewhere it provides a factual base against which concepts of the global political economy of education can be evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociology for Education Studies
EditorsStephen Ward, Cath Simon
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429397585
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2020


  • Education
  • History
  • Economy
  • Political
  • Neo-liberalism


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