Exploring the Intersection of Marketisation and Central State Control through Swedish National School Inspection

Article English OPEN
Rönnberg, Linda (2011)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v2i4.22007
  • Subject: marketisation, governance, inspection, Sweden, education policy

This article focuses on the role of the state in the context of an increasing market orientation in Swedish education policy. It asks if and how a market orientation and privatisation can be reconciled with attempts to re-establish central output control. The controlling function of the state is emphasised in the form of efforts to inspect both public and private schools. Drawing on the literature on governance, dealing with the “hollowing-out” and “filling-in” of the state, two scenarios are distinguished asserting that a market orientation in the case of education policy could either reduce or intensify the need for state-led control. It is concluded that the characteristics of Swedish education policy conform to the “filling-in” line of argument, namely that central state control is strengthened at a point in time when a market orientation and greater choice and privatisation are gaining ground.Keywords: marketisation, governance, inspection, Sweden, education policy(Published: 1 December 2011)Citation: Education Inquiry Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2011, pp.689–707
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