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Tracking detracking reforms: Political explanations of institutional tracking in education
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government. Uppsala Center for Labor Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3026-3779
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present essay explores political explanations for differences in institutional tracking. Tracking refers to the practice in which school children are separated into different tracks according to ability or future plans for further education. Some countries more or less abolished tracking during the decades after the Second World War, whereas others have largely retained that traditional institutional structure of education. What role do partisan politics play for these different trajectories? Tracking is argued to be a truly political issue, as it is closely connected to the reproduction of social stratification and the conditions for social mobility. Hardly any previous comparative studies have aimed to explain the institutional development of tracking, and none have focused on partisan politics. The empirical evidence of this study is based on a novel dataset collected by the author and addressing the development of tracking institutions and reforms from 1960 to 2013 in 31 developed democratic states. In the analyses, government partisanship is used to explain differences in age of selection and in the propensity to decide on detracking reforms. The results show that early selection is strongly related to a dominance of Christian democratic governments, whereas detracking reforms have mainly been carried out by social democratic governments.

Keyword [en]
Education, Tracking, Education reform, Political economy, Political parties
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332621OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332621DiVA: diva2:1153586
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2017-10-31
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