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Palgrave Macmillan

Ideas and European Education Policy, 1973-2020

Constructing the Europe of Knowledge?

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  • © 2022


  • Constructs a novel three-stage analytical framework which captures how ideas open new political spaces
  • Chronicles the transformation of European education from a national to a supranational concern
  • Highlights questions about the role of European business in education

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About this book

This book analyses the transformation of European Education Policy from 1973 to 2020. In doing so, it offers a unique insight into the changes of European education from a predominantly national concern to a supranational policy framework, driven by an economic discourse concerning productivity and employability. The book shows that the idea of the “Europe of Knowledge” did not originate in the Lisbon Strategy of 2000, but rather was the result of a gradual development that started in the mid-1980s. This begun with the establishment of a specific problem definition of education as a solution for Europe’s lack of competitiveness, a definition that was incrementally constructed by the European Commission and the European business community. Highlighting significant and unexplored questions such as the role of European transnational business in education and the role of the “problem entrepreneur” in defining policy issues, this book will provide a comprehensive perspective on European Education Policy that will be of interest to all students of European Politics, Education Policy, and Public Policy.

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Table of contents (8 chapters)


This fascinating book provides a theoretically informed and empirically rich study of the evolution of European education policy since 1973, highlighting the crucial role that ideas have played in shaping the policy. The book follows a chronological approach. It identifies key empirical and conceptual steps in the policy’s development,  using the key concept of “problem definition” to demonstrate how change occurs over time. This book will be required reading for anyone with an interest in education policy, as well as for readers keen to understand how ideas matter in shaping public policy in a real world context.-Michelle Cini, Professor of European Politics, University of Bristol, UK

A comprehensive, compelling analysis of European education policy covering almost 50 years. Marina Cino Pagliarello tracks down painstakingly the role of cognitive structures in framing issues and identifying solutions, and how policy beliefs fit with the broader ideologicalpresuppositions of the time. An original interpretation of education policy that will be read by policy analysts, political scientists, and sociologists.
-Claudio M Radaelli, Professor of Comparative Public Policy, UCL, UK

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science, University College London, London, UK

    Marina Cino Pagliarello

About the author

Marina Cino Pagliarello is Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Essex, Associate Lecturer at UCL, and Research Associate for LSE Consulting. She has worked as an education policy researcher and specialist with national/international organisations and governments for over 15 years. Her research focuses on the role of political and economic actors in shaping public policies.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Ideas and European Education Policy, 1973-2020

  • Book Subtitle: Constructing the Europe of Knowledge?

  • Authors: Marina Cino Pagliarello

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Political Science and International Studies, Political Science and International Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-94093-5Published: 27 April 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-94096-6Published: 28 April 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-94094-2Published: 26 April 2022

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 218

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Public Policy, European Politics, Education Policy

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