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Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

The transformation of the Education State in Italy: a critical policy historiography from 1944 to 2011

TitleThe transformation of the Education State in Italy: a critical policy historiography from 1944 to 2011
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGrimaldi E, Serpieri R
Date Published02/2012
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordscritical policy historiography, education politics, Italy, policy-making, political era

This article attempts to reconstruct the main trends of educational policy-making in Italy since 1944, contextualizing them within historical and wider social landscapes. It is an exercise of critical policy historiography, in so far as it explores what have been the main issues in the Italian education policy debate during the last sixty-five years, how they have been addressed, what has changed both in the debate and in policy-making, what are the complexities and who are the subjects that have benefited or have been disadvantaged by those arrangements. The work interprets the recent trajectory of the Italian education system identifying two different political eras, namely the era of the welfarist education state and the (re)building of the nation and the era of the restructuring of education, between managerialism, decentralisation and a tentative neoliberalism. Whereas the former (1944-1990) witnessed the building up of the welfarist and centralized education system, the latter is still an open era, where multiple trials are in place to reform and modernize education matching temperate and radical interpretations of managerialist, neoliberal and Third Way recipes.