In most countries in the world, school education is the business of the state. Even if forms and functions differ, the imparting of elementary knowledge is universally regarded as a public function. Yet this is neither self-evident nor self-explanatory. The degree of involvement of state agencies in the supervision, financing and organization of the school system sometimes varies so much that the usual assumption of a common understanding of 'the state' seems to be an illusion. Making international comparisons and focusing strongly on the historical conditions of the current form of state education, this volume paints a nuanced picture of how the relationship between 'education' and 'state' has been and is conceptualized. Insights into this relationship are gained by considering and analysing both specific processes such as financing and bureaucracy; and conceptual ideas, for example community, authority, and political utopias.
The book presents comparative studies and analyses of regional and local conditions, arguing that the history of each country or region is critical to educational success, and the relationship between the education and the state must be reconsidered, both internationally and historically, in order to be of actual conceptual value. Education and the State presents a broad variety of approaches and examples that provide a significant contribution to the understanding of the relationship between education and the state. It will be of key value to academics and researchers in the fields of the history of education, the politics of education, and educational administration.