Handbook of Territorial Politics
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Handbook of Territorial Politics

Edited by Klaus Detterbeck and Eve Hepburn

The study of territorial politics has enjoyed a renaissance in the last thirty years. Scholars have questioned the state-centric assumptions upon which mainstream social science has been built, pointing to the territorial (re)distribution of power across and within states. This Handbook brings together leading scholars to demonstrate how territory has shaped institutional structures, public policies, elections, political parties, and identity across the world. Offering theoretical, comparative and empirical insights, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of territory on modern political, economic and social life.
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Chapter 15: Education policy in Canada and the United States: dispersed governance orcentralization

Sandra Vergari

Abstract

Scholars endorsing claims of territorial restructuring and society-centered governance argue that policymaking power is being dispersed away from central governments. Other scholars reject these claims. They argue that governments continue to use hierarchical governance modes and are enhancing their capacity by working with non-state actors. This chapter examines whether the thesis of dispersed governance applies to elementary and secondary education policy in Canada and the United States – two mature, diverse federations with much in common. Provinces in Canada and states in the United States have long held most of the power over education policy and historically devolved substantial authority to school districts. In recent decades, education governance has been increasingly centralized at the provincial and state levels. Meanwhile, school district power in both countries remains significant. There is not an overall trend of education governance without government in Canada and the United States.

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