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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29813

Title: Education as a Private or a Global Public Good: Competing Conceptual Frameworks and their Power at the World Bank
Authors: Menashy, Francine
Advisor: Portelli, John P.
Mundy, Karen
Department: Theory and Policy Studies in Education
Keywords: international education policy
global governance of education
World Bank
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2011
Abstract: This thesis presents the argument that the World Bank’s education policies are discursively inconsistent due to the concurrent adoption of conceptual frameworks – namely the neoliberal and global public goods frameworks – which are arguably in conflict with one another. More specifically, the World Bank presents education as both a public and a private good. This assessment is reached via a critical analysis of the Bank’s education policy discourse. The Bank’s policies are furthermore argued to be grounded in market economics and therefore are in tension with the notion of education as a human right – a legal and political framework, advocated by other development organizations, but neglected by the Bank. Over the course of this thesis, neoliberal influences on the World Bank’s education policies are critiqued on several levels, including potential ethical ramifications concerning equity, discursive logic and questionable use of evidence. This dissertation furthermore suggests that the Bank can re-conceptualize education in a light that does not engender these critiques, by embracing a rights-based vision of education. It is argued that it is not necessary for the Bank to relinquish an economic conceptualization of education, and that it is possible for the human rights and economic discourses to go hand-in-hand. Despite some tensions, education can be supported by both a public goods and rights-based framework, and that via such measures as collaboration with organizations that conceive of education as a right and reducing the dominance of economists within the organization, the Bank’s policies will become aligned with this rights-based vision. This thesis argues that World Bank education policies can take steps toward improvement if the neoliberal notion of education as an exclusive, private good is abandoned in favour of education as a non-exclusive, public good, and a right.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29813
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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