2023 - Online Seminar Series

2022 - Online Seminar Series

  • 30 March | From Living apart to Moving in: Policy instruments and Institutionalist perspectives in education reform research | Dr Antoni Verger
  • 1 April 10 | The development of unofficial public-private partnerships through widening participation schemes in HE in France | Professor Agnès van Zanten
  • 7 April | Internationalisation in Higher Education: Policy contexts, policy ideas and practices | Professor Nafsika Alexiadou

You can find recordings of the three seminars here:

2021 - Online Seminar Series

2020 - Network Meeting during #ReconnectingEERA week

On Wednesday, 26 August, the Network 23 Annual Business Meeting took place online.

2019 - Special Call

NW 23 offered the special call at ECER 2019: Collaborative and Inclusive Education Policy Research in a Troubled Europe

2017 - Project

"Promoting inclusive European collaborative education policy research: creating a third space within Network 23".  The project aims to contribute towards ameliorating the existing divisions in this field of research.

2017 - Change in Link Convenor

After ECER 2017, Peter Kelly (United Kingdom) took over from Anna Tsatsaroni as Link Convenor of the network.

2013 - Change in Link Convenor

In 2013 Anna Tsatsaroni (Greece) took over as Link Convenor of the network.

2011 - Interview with Link Convenor

At ECER 2011 "Urban Education" in Berlin, Graham Attwell and his colleagues from Pontysysgu interviewed the link convenor Palle Rasmussen.

2008 - Change in Link Convenor

In 2008 Palle Rasmussen took over from Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson.

2007 - Change in Link Convenor

In 2007 Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson was elected Link Convenor of network 23.

2006 - Change in Link Convenor

Since 2006 Sharon Gewirtz acted as Link Convenor for network 23.

2005 - Change in Link Convenor

In 2005 Evie Zambeta acted as Link Convenor for network 23.

2003 - Change in Link Convenor

Since 2003 Jenny Ozga acted as Link Convenor for network 23.

2002 - Network Founded

The network on Policy Studies and Politics of Education met for the first time at ECER 2002,  in Lisbon. The network had been authorised by the EERA Council on the basis of a proposal from a number of researchers including Jenny Ozga and Sharon Gewirtz, whom the proposal designated as coordinators. The title of the proposed network was ‘Policy Sociology and Politics’, but in the process of establishing this was changed to the present name.  The proposal argued that researchers working in the field of policy sociology and politics had been strongly represented at previous ECER conferences; they had presented in different networks like teacher education, vocational education and history of education, but in fact they shared a commitment to understanding education from a critical social science perspective. The authors of the proposal further argued that ‘This diffusion of personnel and research reporting across so many themes in the conference program works against the formation of solid research networks that coalesce around critical social science research traditions (…) It also undercuts the capacity of this critical social science research community to pursue cross-national research in and around Europe’ (Ozga and Gewirtz 2001).

The emphasis on strengthening the presence of the critical social research traditions is significant; but the proposal also argues for the necessity of developing methodologies for studying the new spaces of education and educational research emerging in Europe. This double agenda is also reflected in the concepts in the name (policy studies and politics) chosen for the network. Policy studies is a social science research tradition, drawing especially on political science, economics and sociology, aimed at systematic analysis of the nature, causes, and effects of public policies. Policy studies have links to program evaluation, with which it shares a concern for producing valid knowledge with potential to inform public policy and an emphasis on empirical methods suited for this. On this background it is not surprising that policy research methodology has been an important sub-theme for the network. In contrast to policy studies the concept of politics is more clearly rooted in one discipline, political science, but its perspective on education is broader, including issues of power, citizenship interests and values. The concept of politics signals the critical social science approach that was emphasised in the first proposal for the network and which has continued to be a crucial dimension in the network.

Although the original proposal for the network referred mainly to an ‘internal’ ECER problem – the need to organise critical social science researchers already present at conferences – broader developments in European education and educational research also showed the relevance of the network. The Lisbon process had started in 2000 and with it a much stronger push towards common EU education policies. The governance technology of the Open Method of Coordination established a policy space linking central EU agencies to member state agencies and the European Commission assumed a much more active role in this field. The volume of education policy documents seemed to grow exponentially and the monitoring of Lisbon benchmarks made comparative education data widely available.

In the same years social science research on education gradually became part of EU research policy. Until the end of the 1990s EU framework research programmes had focused almost exclusively on natural sciences and technology, with a minimal element of ‘socio-economic research’. In the 6th framework programme, starting in 2002, the humanities and the social sciences were visibly included through the priority ‘Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society’.  The funding available for educational research was still small compared to both national sources and other EU sources like the Social Fund, but it was important that these funds supported regular research rather than evaluation and mapping studies.

In this broader European context the formation of an EERA network on policy studies and politics of education was also timely.

This is an extract from Palle Rasmussen (2014) A space for critical research on education policy: ECER paper sessions and the ‘Policy Studies and Politics of Education’ Network, European Educational Research Journal, 13(4), pp. 418-424.

NW 23 runs a mailing list and invites researchers to join. To join the mailing list, send a blank message to nw23-subscribe(at)lists.eera-ecer.de

Interview with Link Convenor 2019