Network 23, Policy Studies and Politics of Education, is one of the larger networks in the ECER conferences and a network in which new themes in educational debates are quickly taken up. This year, NW 23 had 117 paper submissions (100 of them approved), 18 symposia and 8 posters, all in all resulting in a four-track programme run throughout the 14 sessions of the conference.
The large number of contributions calls for much review work. All submissions to the network are assessed by two reviewers, and on the basis of these the link convener makes the final decision. Most of the conveners contributed to the review process, but it was still necessary to recruit some more persons for reviewing as well as for chairing sessions. The following persons contributed to reviewing for the 2012 conference: Nafsika Alexiadou, Herbert Altrichter, Marie Brennan, Sharon Gewirtz, Ingolfur Johannesson, Jon Kjaran, Anne Larson, Sverker Lindblad, Robert Lingard, Martha Lucchesi, Lisbeth Lundahl, Allyson Macdonald, Eric Mangez, Ian Menter, Romuald Normand, Xavier Pons, Xavier Rambla, Palle Rasmussen, Linda Rönnberg, Terri Seddon, Hannu Simola, Anna Tsatsaroni, Agnes van Zanten, Janne Varjo, Christine Winter, Evie Zambeta.
The network 23 objectives encourage contributions that consider the historical and cultural construction of contemporary educational formations; highlight the role of power relations (based in class, gender, ‘race’ and other social divisions) in education policy and politics; and engage with EU policy developments.
The themes of the network can be summarized as follows:
• The politics of policy making in education
• Europe, Europeanisation and the politics of globalisation
• Discourses and research politics
• The politics of knowledge and the knowledge-policy relationship
• Religion and Education
• Methodology of policy and politics studies in education
Some related themes in this year’s conference this year were the politics of curriculum formation, public education debate, local education policy and the impact and responses to economic and social crisis in Europe. The overall impression was that the overall quality of presentations and discussions was high and that the thematic organization of sessions had worked well. There had been some practical difficulties with computers and rooms, but these were general to the conference. Many sessions also showed continuity in discussions from previous conferences.