The struggle for power in education: The nation-state versus the supranational in the evolution of European Union education policy, 1945-1976

St John, Sarah K. (2018) The struggle for power in education: The nation-state versus the supranational in the evolution of European Union education policy, 1945-1976. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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European integration is a curious concept. There is stark disparity between some areas of policy that seemingly glide through the integration process, while others lag behind and despite decades of attempts, never reach the status of a fully-fledged area of European Union competence. Once such area is education.

Through integration theories, political scientists have sought to explain how policies develop and are implemented at European level. This interdisciplinary study borrows the opposing theories of neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism with the aim of identifying the influence of the supranational and the strength of the state in the evolution of a European Union education policy. It seeks to pinpoint how education can be placed within the construction of Europe and the process of early European integration to determine the feasibility of these integration theories in explaining the journey of education policy in the European context.

Historical methodology is adopted, based on archival research at the Historical Archives of the European Union, using documentary analysis to trace the history of activities and initiatives relating to education between 1945-1976. Collective biography methodology is adopted to give space to the role of states in driving the scope, direction and extent of integration based on domestic interests, while a case study implements methodological triangulation to stress-test the case of education.

The study proposes that education is a complex case that does not slot neatly into a theory of integration. Education is multifaceted, a cultural – while at the same time – economic component: it is woven into the fabric of nation-states, it contributes to increasing global competitiveness, it diversifies across borders, and its development is attached to temporality and context. Despite suggestions that the state is diminishing in power, education serves as an example to demonstrate that the state is very much alive and at the centre of certain areas of policy development at European level.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: European Union, Education Policy, European integration, nation-states, neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Murphy, Dr. Mark
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Sarah K St John
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30580
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2018 08:02
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2018 07:31

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