From ‘silent borrowing’ to the international argument - legitimating Swedish educational policy from 1945 to the present day

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Ringarp, Johanna ; Waldow, Florian (2016)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy (issn: 2002-0317, eissn: 2002-0317)
  • Subject: International reference, Sweden, large-scale assessments, educational policy, externalisation.

The article analyses how education policy-making was legitimated in Sweden in the time period 1945–2014, focussing particularly on international points of reference and using reports of government committees (‘Statens offentliga utredningar’, or SOU) as an indicator for the policy-making discourse. The article detects a shift in how policy agendas were justified that ca. 2007. Before the shift, international reference points were hardly ever used as an argument for reform in policy-making, despite the fact that Sweden in many ways participated in the international education policy-making mainstream. This changed around the year 2007, when the ‘international argument’ became prominent in the education policy-making discourse as a legitimatory device and justification for change. The article argues that this shift is connected to declining Swedish PISA results and a changed perception of these results in Sweden.Keywords: Sweden; policy-making; international references; legitimacy; externalisation(Published: 28 June 2016)Citation: NordSTEP 2016, 2: 29583 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/nstep.v2.29583
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