The Development of Education Systems in Advanced Capitalist Societies Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Danforth, Benjamin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
Abstract
  • Although mass education has become a common feature of all advanced capitalist societies, it has not developed uniformly across these societies. Significant divergences have arisen in the types of education that these societies emphasize and in the levels of effort that they devote to promoting and improving education for all. To understand these divergences and their causes better, this dissertation comparatively analyzes two important phases in the development of mass education in more affluent societies: the pre-World War II expansion in secondary education and the postwar growth in tertiary education. For both of these phases, the dissertation argues that notable institutional differences in these societies' education systems arose from political struggles that were largely driven by distributional concerns. Although mass education has become a common feature of all advanced capitalist societies, it has not developed uniformly across these societies. Significant divergences have arisen in the types of education that these societies emphasize and in the levels of effort that they devote to promoting and improving education for all. To understand these divergences and their causes better, this dissertation comparatively analyzes two important phases in the development of mass education in more affluent societies: the pre-World War II expansion in secondary education and the postwar growth in tertiary education. For both of these phases, the dissertation argues that notable institutional differences in these societies' education systems arose from political struggles that were largely driven by distributional concerns. To evaluate this general argument and its more specific parts, this dissertation employs a mixed-method approach combining broad statistical analysis with focused case-study analysis. For the statistical component of this approach, two new sets of cross-national data on political economy and education systems covering 17 advanced capitalist societies for the years from 1880 to 1985 are examined. In the case-study component, historical analyses of educational development in Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are carried out. The combined results of these analyses show that prewar struggles over secondary education were heavily shaped by two factors: the structure of state authority over education and the strength of coordination legacies in training. It is found that variation in these two variables mostly accounts for the emergence of different mixes of general education and vocational training at the secondary level. For the postwar phase of educational development, the results show that partisan government incumbency and constitutional veto points were key determinants of cross-national differences in the generosity, distribution, and coverage of public education systems. Among other things, it is found that right government involvement and pervasive veto points are associated with distributional arrangements in education that are skewed toward tertiary education. On the whole, these findings underscore the importance of political institutions and partisan politics in spurring the rise of distinct models of mass education.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Marks, Gary
  • Hooghe, Liesbet
  • Huber, Evelyne
  • Stephens, John
  • Brady, David
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
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