Edited by Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Michael Farrelly and Jane Mulderrig
Chapter 5: Advocacy NGOs in Chilean education policy-making: spaces of resistance or agencies fostering neoliberalism?
In recent decades NGOs have become one of the most important actors participating in social policy. However, there is still discussion about their role in promoting or resisting neoliberalism. Engaging directly with this debate, this chapter explores the role of two advocacy NGOs involved in processes of policy-making during the recent education reform carried out in Chile, a country known as the first laboratory of neoliberalism around the world. Based on Foucault’s theoretical work on governmentality in combination with a Discourse Historical Approach (DHA), the research investigates these NGOs’ discursive practices to analyse their role in relation to neoliberal rule in Chile. Results indicate that none of the NGOs is able to challenge the hegemonic neoliberal discourse. On the contrary, the NGOs’ discourse practices not only mask the power of the neoliberal model ruling Chilean education, but also dilute the recent process of discussion and critique regarding the rules of the game.
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