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Who cares about the democratic mandate of education?: A text analysis of the Swedish secondary education reform of 2009
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2014 (English)Other (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For several decades after WWII, Swedish education reforms were justified extensivelybased on democratic and equality arguments. The Social Democrats, the partyin governing power during this era, considered a uniform education system crucialto their endeavors towardsa greaterdemocracy and greater equality. According to current research, arguments of this kind are being used increasingly rarely to justify general reforms to public primary and secondary education. It is however unknown whether this is also true forthe leftist/green opposition parties and not only the current center-right governingparties. The subject of this study is parliamentary debate and the text of the government bill concerning the latest keyupper-secondary school reform of 2009, which entailed greater differentiation between students. Consequently, strong criticism from the leftistopposition from the democraticand equality perspectiveswas to be expected. On the contrary, this study shows that the opposition –like the center-right government –used democratic and equality arguments only to a minor extent. The results areconsistent with fears,expressed with regard toSweden and globally,that the democratic mandate is being ignored in the design ofeducation systems forthe future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, Working paper, Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, ISSN 1651 - 1166 ; 2014:2
Keyword [en]
Education reforms ; Sweden; upper - secondary education ; democratic arguments ; equality arguments
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-236199OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-236199DiVA: diva2:763416
”Inflytande på arbetet och 1990-talets gymnasiereform”, financed by IFAU
Available from: 2014-11-14 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2015-02-23

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