Education governance, politics and policy under New Labour

Goodwin, Mark (2011). Education governance, politics and policy under New Labour. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis investigates the political management of state schooling under New Labour from 1997-2010. The thesis considers and rejects two mainstream approaches to the analysis of New Labour‟s education strategy which characterise the New Labour education project as either a process of marketisation or as a symptom of a shift to a new governance through networks of diffused power. Instead, the thesis argues that the best general characterisation of New Labour‟s education strategy is as a centralising project which has increased the power and discretion of the core of the core executive over the education sector at the expense of alternative centres of power. The thesis proposes that the trajectory of education policy under New Labour is congruent with a broader strategy for the modification of the British state which sought to enhance administrative efficiency and governing competence. Changes to education strategies can then be explained as the result of changing social and economic contexts filtered through the governing projects of strategic political actors. The thesis argues that New Labour‟s education strategy was largely successful in terms of securing governing competence and altering power relations and behaviour in the sector despite continuing controversy over the programmatic and political performance of its education policies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government


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