Antoni Verger and Xavier Bonal
Susan L. Robertson and Antoni Verger
Antoni Verger and Susan L. Robertson
Clara Fontdevila and Antoni Verger
The World Bank has a reputation as a promoter of pro-market educational reforms inspired by the so-called (post-)Washington Consensus (PWC). However, a mechanic association between the World Bank reform agenda and a broad policy paradigm such as the PWC is problematic in that it neglects the diverging interests that are likely to exist within this organization. As a way to analyse organizational divergence, this chapter explores whether and to what extent there is a tension between the public discourse and the lending practices of the World Bank in the educational realm. The chapter also reflects on the possible factors behind the disjunction between the World Bank discourse and practices. We address these questions on the basis of a content analysis of a large corpus of documents, and by focusing on teacher policy – a key component in the World Bank’s education agenda. Our results suggest that the World Bank’s portrait as an advocate of market-oriented reforms is accurate mainly at the discursive level, but that this policy discourse does not consistently translate into its lending practices.
Antoni Verger, Adrián Zancajo and Clara Fontdevila
International actors are increasingly active in promoting education reforms worldwide, but especially in contexts of vulnerability. As in a zero-sum game, the presence of international actors is expected to compensate for the budgetary and administrative restrictions that governments face in vulnerable countries. Nonetheless, international actors do not only operate in contexts of fragility for humanitarian reasons, or to cover governmental needs. For many international actors, contexts of vulnerability are privileged spaces to promote their preferred policy reform approaches, and to experiment with “innovative” solutions that would be difficult to implement in more stable political contexts. This chapter focuses on the way international actors promote different pro-private education solutions in vulnerable contexts. Specifically, we analyze two cases in which international actors have been especially prominent in advancing an education privatization agenda: the expansion of low-fee private schools in low-income countries and the promotion of pro-private sector solutions in contexts of emergency.