25 SES 03 A, Macro perspectives: policy and reviews
Education is stipulated as a human right by many international policy documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948), the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) (UN, 1989) and the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development (UN, 2015). According to these international documents the National States have the responsibility to guarantee equitable quality education for all children no respective to their gender, age, place of birth, mother tongue, religious and ethical and social backgrounds. Furthermore, education as a fundamental right requires educational environments that guarantee equal opportunities, no discrimination of any kind, freedom from all forms of violence and respect for children’s and young people (UNICEF, 2020). These international policy documents establish even the national states’ responsibility to guarantee migrant children’s’ rights to and in education (Francia & Edling 2020).
Even the EU legislation stipulated that the right of the child to and in education as a human right that must be respected, protected and fulfilled in all the EU-state members. At the same time the European Union Commission’s work is guided by the CRC, ratified by all EU countries. Furthermore, the article 3 (3) of the Treaty on European Union as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU stipulate the protection of the rights of the child by the EU institutions and by EU countries when they implement EU law (European Commission, 2019).
In spite, the existing EU legislation supporting the protection of the rights of the child stipulated in the CRC, the resurgence of Far-Right parties and radical right movements around the world has challenged the enactment of international policies for all children’s rights, especially for migrant children’s rights to equitable education at the national level (Stanley, 2019).
Based on a political discourse characterized by ethno-nationalist xenophobia and the return to traditional values, fascism and nationalism, the Far-Right wants to see a more restrictive migration policy in different national contexts in Europe. At the same time, the mainstream parties often tend to share the Far-Right restrictive migration discourse and make political proposals to avoid losing votes to the right-wing nationalist parties (Akkerman, 2012; Rydgren & van der Meidenv, 2016; Rydgren 2018, Bennett, 1990; Decker, 2016). Furthermore, these Far-Right parties are based on a fusion of conservatism and nationalism that has contributed to its electoral success in several European Countries. In addition, these Far-Right parties are already integrated in the existing political system supported by a growing number of European citizens who share its conservative and nationalist values (Eremina & Seredenko, 2015).
With the purpose to examine and analyze the implications of the advance of the Far- Right on the enactment of the CRC in two European national contexts, this contribution analyzes and compares how Far-Right Parties frame education policies in Spain and Sweden.
Based on a critical interpretive policy perspective ( Durnova and Zittoun 2010; Nordensvard & Ketola, 2015) this contribution starts from the theoretical conception of policies as text and discourse that are enacted rather that implemented in dynamic and nonlinear processes of putting policies into practice. (Belard 2011; Ball, Maguire and Braun 2012).
This article is based on a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of proposed national and local political programs of Far-Right parties in Spain and Sweden. The selected documents are political national and regional documents published by the Spanish political party VOX and from the Swedish political party Sweden Democrats during the period 2018-2021. Based on Wodak (2001) and Fairclough (2003) this research analyses the linguistic forms and the intertextuality characterized in the selected texts as well as the mediation between discourses and their social contexts. Following Fairclough (2003), the interpretation of the empirical data encompasses three dimensions: (a) text analysis (description), (b) processing analysis (interpretation), and (c) social analysis (explanation). In this study, these dimensions correspond to the following research questions: 1. How do the selected Far-Right parties frame the education policy in the selected policy texts? (description) 2. Which intertexts are presented/referred in education policy framed by the selected policy texts? (interpretation) 3. How can the enactment of the of the CRC be understood in the context of the advance of the Far-Right? (explanation)
The analysis of the seleced political documents shows that the education policies proposed by the selected Far-Rights parties in Spain and Sweden are caracterized by: *nationalism expressed in education content and objectives *monolingual education *monocultural education canon *the Christian religion dominance *the opposition to religious diversity *the opposition to Islam Education *the opposition to the use of Burka at school *the opposition to the Gender Studies perspective in educational contexts *the opposition to the LGBT perspective in educational contexts *the opposition to recognize diversity concerning family constellation *the focus on assimilation strategies to manage diversity *the lack of state responsibility for the migrant children school success This contribution illustrates and discusses how the rights of children of minorities risk to be threatened in national contexts where the Far-Right is in advance. In particularly, the Far-Right political framing risks the enactment of the right of Muslim children to receive equitable education. Another potential risk is the increase of violence against migrant children in form of xenophobia, discrimination and bullying. By opposing to all kind of diversity the Far-Right policy framing risks the fulfillment of the objectives of the CRC and the Agenda 2030 in the selected countries. Furthermore, this research shows the lack of explicit references to international documents guarantee the right of the migrant children in the Far-Right education policy framing. However it shows references to other intertexts, as for instance reference to PISA and TIMSS evaluations in Sweden or ERASMUS programs in Spain in order to show the lacks of the current education systems in these countries.
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