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The study of (post)socialism has always had a complicated relationship with comparative education. Tracing the changing emphases of research on (post)socialism during and…
The study of (post)socialism has always had a complicated relationship with comparative education. Tracing the changing emphases of research on (post)socialism during and after the Cold War, this chapter highlights how (post)socialist studies moved from being highly politicized during the Cold War, to becoming subsumed by convergence and modernization theories after the collapse of the socialist bloc, to reemerging as a part of broader “post” philosophies reflecting the uncertainties and contradictions of social life. This chapter proposes to treat post-socialism not only as a geographic area, but also as a conceptual category that allows us to engage in theorizing divergence, difference, and uncertainty in the context of globalization. It is a space from which we can further complicate (not clarify) our understanding of ongoing reconfigurations of educational spaces in a global context, and ultimately challenge the evolutionary scheme of thought and established concepts of Western modernity. For comparative education and social theory more broadly, post-socialism can thus become a challenge (or an agenda) for future debates – whether theoretical or methodological – about global processes and their multiple effects on education and societies today, in the past, and in the future.
This chapter focuses on meanings of decentralization in the context of post-socialist reforms in Romania. The main purpose is to examine the circulation of…
This chapter focuses on meanings of decentralization in the context of post-socialist reforms in Romania. The main purpose is to examine the circulation of decentralization reform in what is generally considered to be a highly centralized country. Drawing on policy analysis and in-depth interviews and focus groups with teachers and school administrators, the findings reveal contrasting perspectives and hybridized ideas about the meanings of decentralization reforms in Romania. These reforms should be seen in the context of larger trends toward marketization (McGinn & Welsh, 1999). With the emergence of discourses on modernization and a “return to Europe,” Romanian political culture has offered a complementary, legitimizing base to the decentralizing reform of administration and education. In line with the recent history of these reforms, most interview participants view 1998 as the peak of real “institutional autonomy,” followed by a decline or even a slow recentralization in subsequent years. They also refer to “self-assigned” or “reclaimed” autonomy, which every teacher can adopt “in their own class, once the doors are closed.” Significantly, most agree that the latter type is essentially the same as in the communist period, prior to the 1989 political changes. We will thus investigate the contrasting perspectives expressed by scholars, teachers, and in policy documents, as well as the hybridized ideas which together result in various visions of reform. The analysis of post-socialist changes, both as real and imagined processes, leads us to conclude that the Romanian education transition should be seen as a complex process which has followed unanticipated trajectories and has led to multiple destinations (Silova, 2009).
Attempts to “Westernize” post‐socialist economies of Eastern Europe resulted in little or no progress. This paper aims to incorporate the resource‐based view (RBV…
Attempts to “Westernize” post‐socialist economies of Eastern Europe resulted in little or no progress. This paper aims to incorporate the resource‐based view (RBV) paradigm to shed light on the present difficulties and challenges. A shortage of resources, many of which are taken for granted in the West, is identified as a reason why some “Western‐style” approaches did not work.
Reviews of literature in entrepreneurial orientation and RBV serve as a foundation of the development of conceptual arguments. The paper presents a framework elaborating on entrepreneurial development by focusing on the national resource base called enabling resources.
Richardian, functional‐regulatory, and tacit culturally based resources are credited with building national entrepreneurial activity and developing a unique national competency.
The paper does not include empirical validation of its argument. Further empirical research should be done in different cultural contexts.
The paper informs policymakers and entrepreneurs alike towards a monumental task of rebuilding these new democracies. Developed framework provides a way of building resources necessary for sustained entrepreneurial growth unique to each post‐socialist economy.
By focusing on the unique national resource base, the economic development of post‐socialist economies of Eastern Europe may be improved and accelerated. This paper emphasizes the need to consider and examine available resources in the transformation and development of enterprising communities.
The chapter identifies and analyzes scholarly discourses that framed understanding of change and directed further reforms in post-socialist education over the past two…
The chapter identifies and analyzes scholarly discourses that framed understanding of change and directed further reforms in post-socialist education over the past two decades. It discusses the origins of these discourses, their theoretical underpinnings, evolution, and cultural biases. The analysis of scholarly texts published on post-socialist education draws on methods of discourse analysis and utilizes the concept of sensemaking and the lens of translation to deconstruct how educational change is framed. Most of the identified discourses – restoration, importation, revolution and evolution, transformation and innovation, crisis and survival, glocalization, educational borrowing, system convergence, education for social transformation – originated outside either education or the post-socialist region itself in transitology studies, dependency theory, world system theory, and social reproduction theory. The resultant discourses carried over or challenged the underlying theoretical assumptions, exposed cultural sensitivity, or otherized the post-socialist region. The chapter identifies emerging scholarship that deconstructs framing of the same post-socialist educational phenomena. These emerging approaches reflect local and national searches for identity rather than global agendas. Contrary to the earlier prediction that with the end of the cold war, economic, political, and social institutions would converge into one monolithic world order, the chapter argues that the contemporary world today has come to display diversity, particularism, multiple voices, and the beginning of new histories. This study identifies emerging lines of research that look into the construction of meanings and expose cultural biases, while offering original conceptualization of two decades of scholarship on post-socialist educational change.
This chapter examines the changing state–university–student relationships in post/socialist China since the late 1980s. We begin with an introduction to four salient…
This chapter examines the changing state–university–student relationships in post/socialist China since the late 1980s. We begin with an introduction to four salient themes in scholarship on Chinese post/socialism that are highly relevant to higher education: globalization, gradualism, civic society, and a critique of holism. These themes help us explain interrelated educational trends that affect the state–university–student relationship: the globalization, “massification,” and stratification of higher education; the redefined role of the state in university governance and management; higher education marketization and privatization; and the quest for meaning and (e)quality in and through higher education. Our general argument is that during the “socialist” period the main relationship central to higher learning was between the state and students. Universities were agents of the state; from a legal point of view, indeed, universities did not have an independent status from the state. In the “post-socialist” era the university–student relationship has become more significant. We examine this reconfiguration through two case studies, one on the development of college student grievance and rights consciousness, and the other on reforms in higher education student services administration. When looked at from the point of view of the state, we see that appropriation and implementation of policies and regulations shaping student rights and services are in partial contradiction with state policies to accelerate economic growth and bolster party authority. From the point of view of universities, we see institutions grappling with how to deliver on forward-looking structures and actions while navigating between the state's policy mandates and growing expectations and demands of its student and business stakeholders. From the point of view of students, we see how constrained agency, uncertainty, and the power of the credential motivates social praxis. At all levels of the state–institution–student relationship actors are employing a kind of pragmatic improvisation (one of the salient features of post/socialism) captured by the well-known Chinese proverb “groping for stones to cross the river.” This saying is an apt metaphor for the tentative searching by state, institution, and individual for a safe foothold in the post/socialist world.
The collapse of the Soviet Union had major ramifications for the small developing countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as 3 of the then 13 countries experimented…
The collapse of the Soviet Union had major ramifications for the small developing countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as 3 of the then 13 countries experimented with strands of socialism, festering political fragmentation/ideological pluralism regionally. As the rivets of the Iron Curtain came unfastened, the emerging markets of CARICOM were forced to rethink their geopolitical positions while reforming their national educational systems. This chapter examines how the dissolution of socialism in the former socialist countries of Southeast/Central Europe and the former Soviet Union created a reform atmosphere across CARICOM countries. CARICOM's response to the impact of 1989 lies in how it spent the 1980s dealing with the 1973–1974 oil crises, ideological pluralism, and the subsequent imposition of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The successive degeneration of ideological pluralism within CARICOM countries caused by the simultaneous collapse of cooperative socialism in Guyana, revolutionary socialism in Grenada, and democratic socialism in Jamaica paved the way for post-socialist transformations regionally. This chapter considers how the policy process of functional cooperation – the non-economic policy mechanism upon which CARICOM seeks to integrate its members – facilitates the policy tool of lesson-drawing to take place between member states while laying the foundation for post-socialist change across CARICOM. Using data from the educational policies of 10 countries, this chapter illustrates how CARICOM members used the global policy alterations of 1989 as a reference point to reform their educational systems. Educational reforms occurred as member states drew lessons from each other – in the form of cross-national consultations – guided by the policy process of functional cooperation.
The Czech case sheds light on the processes of curriculum making inthe post-socialist context. To explain the relationship between the macro and micro levels of curriculum…
The Czech case sheds light on the processes of curriculum making inthe post-socialist context. To explain the relationship between the macro and micro levels of curriculum development, Graeber's concept of interpretive labour is used. In the Czech Republic, from the very first days of the Velvet Revolution (November 1989), groups of citizens and teachers demanded profound change in school education but the new conservative-liberal government preferred piecemeal steps.An alternative route to radical school reform was proposed at the meso level by an alliance of health psychologists and progressive teachers, using the know-how of the World Health Organization. Schools that voluntarily joined the Healthy Schoolnetwork were expected to restructuretheir core processes by an approach similar to school-based curriculum development. This change model was adopted at the macro level,when the Social Democrats formed a government in 1998. The new Education Act mandated that each school had to develop its own curriculum using the new national framework. The analysis of policy documents paving the way for this reform, however, showsa sequence of unfulfilled plans and promises. Almost all independent evaluations have found that the essential goals of the reform have remained unfulfilled, as schools mostly created their curriculaby, for example, formally recycling the old national syllabi.As curriculum making occurs across different levels, the failed curricular reform resulted in a blame game among thelevels(the ministry, curricular agency, inspectorate, school leaders, teachers and others),with no actor accepting theirshare of the responsibilityand probably considering any lessons for future curriculum revisions.
Discusses the literature on the inter‐country differences in the pattern and magnitude of the transformation crisis in post‐socialist coutries. Describes and analyses the…
Discusses the literature on the inter‐country differences in the pattern and magnitude of the transformation crisis in post‐socialist coutries. Describes and analyses the stylized facts regarding the transformational crises in these countries. Summarizes the main explanations for the crisis focusing on the institutional dysfunction‐induced output fall. Presents a model of the system‐switch output decline.
This contribution presents an effort to develop a public administration perspective on the ongoing process of institutional reform and transformation in Central and…
This contribution presents an effort to develop a public administration perspective on the ongoing process of institutional reform and transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. It is organized around three rather straightforward questions. The first refers to analytical issues. How should we study the subject at hand? We are dealing with a multi-dimensional and multi-level reform and transformation process. The Central and Eastern European experience has not yet generated any models and theories of its own which might drive the administrative analysis. The question is how one could arrive at a theoretically orientated perspective to explore adequately the ongoing, multifarious and turbulent administrative reform processes, without being unduly biased by ‘western’ presuppositions and preoccupations (Section 2).