Engel, Laura C. (2007) "'Becoming Europeans:' Examining the case of educational policy production in Catalonia". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. In recent decades, Spain has been engaged in a process of massive and dramatic transformation, particularly with respect to democratization and decentralization of most of its public institutions, including education. The nature and scope of these efforts have been influenced largely by policy pressures emanating from supranational (European Union-EU) and global processes, as well as local, regional1, and national state imperatives. This paper focuses specifically on one of Spain’s comunidades autónomas (autonomous communities), Catalonia, in order to examine these dynamic processes in the context of educational policy formation. Drawing on empirical resources, including data generated through semi-structured interviews with key educational actors2 in Barcelona and Madrid, and document analysis of key policy documents collected in Barcelona, Madrid, and Brussels, this paper focuses on contemporary shifts in educational policy production concerning decentralization in Catalonia with respect to a range of multiscalar pressures. First, I broadly discuss the literature on globalization and educational governance and the need to extend beyond binary oppositional frameworks often used in literature on educational decentralization. Next, I provide a background on Spanish democratization and the various pressures surrounding the development of a mass educational system. The last two sections of the paper move from micro to macro perspectives to highlight the complex shifts in governance across regional, national, and EU political spheres.
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