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Hegemony and the politics of policy making for education for sustainable development: A case study of Vietnam
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, SWEDESD - The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development.
2016 (English)In: The Journal of Environmental Education, ISSN 0095-8964, E-ISSN 1940-1892, Vol. 47, no 2, 77-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Assumptions are readily made about the global nature and discourse of education for sustainable development. This study challenges assumptions made about structural power as expressed through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) policy and politics of education. Focusing on the concept of sustainable development (SD) and ESD, the research examined the culturally contextualized question: How should we understand the relationship between these policy concepts, structural power, hegemony and the hegemonic discourses that articulate them? A case analysis of the political and educational history of Vietnam is used to highlight how assumptions on the hegemonic potential of SD and ESD may or may not be appropriate, or adequate, for understanding that relationship at the depth required for critical purposes. The findings of a discourse analysis of relevant policy documents suggests the meanings of these concepts are not fully determined and cannot be seen as expressions of a determinable overall state of power relations or hegemony. Instead, they are suggestive of the limits of hegemonic power and allow for the emergence of a space of contestation. This space is at play in the political contestation of the meaning of SD and ESD in Vietnamese policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 47, no 2, 77-90 p.
Keyword [en]
status quo, hegemony, education, Vietnam, globalisation, globalization, policy, policy analysis, discourse analysis
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225404DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2015.1021291ISI: 000372169000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225404DiVA: diva2:720943
Available from: 2014-06-03 Created: 2014-06-03 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Beyond Education and Society: On the Political Life of Education for Sustainable Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond Education and Society: On the Political Life of Education for Sustainable Development
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this dissertation is to develop a theoretical and analytical framework for understanding the political in education from a social and global perspective. With this objective in mind, it employs an empirical engagement and theoretical reflection on how this political can be seen to emerge in policy making on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Policy making on ESD is interpreted as engaging in the constitution of the social and globalisation, where the non-determination of this practice is seen to require political acts of identification with particular perspectives on what education, society and, as a result, ESD should be. Book I constitutes a theoretical and analytical framework that outlines central concepts, such as antagonism, temporality, space and rhizomic globalisation, in order to conceive of how the political in education can be understood and analysed in concrete articulations, such as policy making on ESD. The findings of the empirical analysis underlying this dissertation and that address the political in policy making on ESD are presented in the papers that are incorporated into this dissertation as part of Book II. Paper I discusses how we can conceive of the relation between ESD and globalisation and makes an argument that this relation should be seen to be political and characterised by conflicting perspectives on what ESD is. Paper II presents the findings from a comparative study of policy making on ESD that engages with concrete policy on ESD in order to reflect on how globalisation can be seen to emerge in these instances of policy making. Paper III presents the findings of a comprehensive discourse analysis of Vietnamese policy making and shows how the concepts of ESD and Sustainable Development are contested among different perspectives of how Vietnamese society should be constituted. The dissertation as a whole makes an argument for the inescapable political condition for education and how this condition necessitates the articulation of concepts such as ESD that name an inaccessible state beyond conflict and social antagonisms that is to be achieved through education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 361 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences, 7
education, ESD, environmental education, Education for Sustainable Development, sustainability, policy, education policy, globalisation, globalization, hegemony, discourse, space, antagonism, political, politics, temporality, beyond, mutation, rhizome, rhizomic, play, Laclau, utbildning, UHU, miljöundervisning, utbildning för hållbar utveckling, hållbar utvecking, politik, policy, utbildningspolicy, globalisering, hegemoni, diskurs, antagonism, temporalitet, mutation, rhizome, spel, Laclau
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229355 (URN)978-91-554-8992-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-19, Bertil Hammersalen, von Kraemers Allé 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2014-08-28 Created: 2014-08-06 Last updated: 2014-09-08

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Bengtsson, Stefan L.
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SWEDESD - The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development
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