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Juridification of Educational Spheres: The Case of Swedish School Inspection
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6558-0067
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation argues that the great transformation of education policy and governance that we have witnessed in the last few decades can only be properly understood by taking into account a process of juridification. In and of itself, this is not a novel assertion; what is argued here is that what this entails concretely has been only partially understood. The mounting importance of positive rights in the welfare state as a means of preserving and legitimating the State’s role is underlined, and particular focus is directed to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) as an intermediary body between the State and educational institutions. The main argument that this dissertation advances is that the Swedish 2010 Education Act, along with the changes that its enforcement brought to state school inspection, is an instructive expression of the institutionalization of a juridified school system. Central to this argument is the idea that the legitimacy of the postmodern State in the eyes of its citizens can no longer be taken for granted. Juridification can be seen as a strategy of compensatory legitimation. Drawing on earlier research on governance and juridification, respectively, the dissertation sketches out the general thrust for the examination of the relation between the two and, in particular, just what the theoretical perspective of juridification adds to our understanding of the transformation of education policy and practice. We still know rather little about the latter, i.e., about what the functions and implications of a “juridified” mode of education governance may be more precisely. Against the backdrop of three empirical studies, it advances the argument that a good part of the evolutionary process that is here called “the juridification of educational spheres” comprises operations, institutions and actors deeply involved in locally or regionally situated issues and struggles. It further argues that state school inspection processes as such provide some means of intermediation – the means of making ideologies become real and policies come true. The final discussion is conducted in light of the specific case of the SSI, particularly how the actions and decisions involved in the Inspectorate’s enactment of policy actually constitute policy by giving it certain forms and specific content. These considerations take us beyond the sphere of governance and to the heart of what we may think schooling is or ought to be about. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. , p. 84
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences ; 13
Keyword [en]
Education policy, educational spheres, evaluative state, governance, institutionalization, judicialization, juridification, law as institution, legalization, new managerialism, positive rights, re-regulation, rule of law, school inspection, schools inspectorate
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335578ISBN: 978-91-513-0178-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335578DiVA, id: diva2:1163431
Public defence
2018-02-02, Humanistiska teatern, Thunbergsv. 3H, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

In addition to the three papers, two other published works have been adapted to form the basis of dissertation chapters. Sections of Chapter 3 are adapted from Novak, J. (2017a). Juridification and Education. In M. A. Peters (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory (pp. 1200-1205). Singapore: Springer. DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_480-1. Sections of Chapter 4 and Concluding Discussion have been borrowed, in modified form, from Novak, J. (2017b). Juridification of Educational Spheres: The Case of Sweden. Educational Philosophy and Theory (Epub Ahead of Print). DOI 10.1080/00131857.2017.1401464. A few source references have been added, and certain passages have been abbreviated, while others have been elaborated. Stylistic considerations have led to further editorial adjustments. Such revisions notwithstanding, the arguments remain unaltered. Cross-references between chapters correspond mainly to references in the original publications. Reprints were made with permission from the respective publishers.

Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2018-03-07
List of papers
1. Skolan och rättssäkerheten: vad har en elev rätt att kunna?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skolan och rättssäkerheten: vad har en elev rätt att kunna?
2016 (Swedish)In: Vad ska en svensk kunna?: Utbildningens dilemma - intressenas spel / [ed] Michael Gustavsson, Tove Österman, Elinor Hållén, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2016, p. 105-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Daidalos, 2016
Keyword
Juridifiering, oförytterliga värden, rättssäkerhet, skolinspektion
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300592 (URN)9789171734747 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-08-09 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2018-03-19Bibliographically approved
2. Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests
2017 (English)In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, no 5, p. 673-693Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since 2009, the Swedish Government uses an ‘audit’ agency – the Swedish Schools Inspectorate – to monitor and assess the accuracy with which teachers grade student responses on national tests. This study explores the introduction and subsequent establishment of the Inspectorate’s regrading programme as an example of political management of the tensions between competition and equity inherent in neoliberal regulatory regimes. The programme is considered a case for examining contemporary policies and discourses on fairness and government actions undertaken to resolve issues of unfair assessment and safeguard students’ rights. Work of Carol Bacchi forms part of the theoretical background for the investigation of problem representations around and within the programme. The article demonstrates how discursive practices in the fields of government, audit and media have worked to frame teachers’ assessments as incorrect, unfair and as jeopardizing the credibility of the grading system, thus justifying increased central control and authority over teacher assessments. As such, the regrading programme contributed to increased mistrust in teacher professionalism. A legal discourse is identified, and we argue the examination system is being juridified where the abundance of control over knowledge risks turning into a deficit of that same knowledge.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320479 (URN)10.1080/02680939.2017.1318454 (DOI)000402988500008 ()
Available from: 2017-04-20 Created: 2017-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Anpassningarnas för(e)ställning: Om Skolinspektionens tillsyn som en scen för förändring
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anpassningarnas för(e)ställning: Om Skolinspektionens tillsyn som en scen för förändring
2014 (Swedish)In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 127-144Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: , 2014
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224684 (URN)
Projects
Inspektion som styrning, Skolinspektion och utbildningsstyrning i Sverige, England och Skottland
Note

Tema: Skolinspektion som styrning

Available from: 2014-05-17 Created: 2014-05-17 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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