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Inequality, marketisation and the left: Schools policy in England and Sweden

Hicks, T; (2015) Inequality, marketisation and the left: Schools policy in England and Sweden. European Journal of Political Research , 54 (2) pp. 326-342. 10.1111/1475-6765.12086. Green open access

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Abstract

It is argued in this article that the marketisation of schools policy has a tendency to produce twin effects: an increase in educational inequality, and an increase in general satisfaction with the schooling system. However, the effect on educational inequality is very much stronger where prevailing societal inequality is higher. The result is that cross-party political agreement on the desirability of such reforms is much more likely where societal inequality is lower (as the inequality effects are also lower). Counterintuitively, then, countries that are more egalitarian – and so typically thought of as being more left-wing – will have a higher likelihood of adopting marketisation than more unequal countries. Evidence is drawn from a paired comparison of English and Swedish schools policies from the 1980s to the present. Both the policy history and elite interviews lend considerable support for the theory in terms of both outcomes and mechanisms.

Type: Article
Title: Inequality, marketisation and the left: Schools policy in England and Sweden
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12086
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12086
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Hicks, T; (2015) Inequality, marketisation and the left: Schools policy in England and Sweden. European Journal of Political Research , 54 (2) pp. 326-342. 10.1111/1475-6765.12086, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12086. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: education, inequality, political economy, comparative politics, marketisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464126
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