© 2012

Educational Policy in an International Context

Political Culture and Its Effects

  • Karen Seashore Louis
  • Boudewijn van Velzen

Part of the Education Policy book series (EDPOLICY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Political Cultures, Education, and History—An Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-3
    2. Geert Devos, Mats Ekholm, Kaspar Kofod, Karen Seashore Louis, Lejf Moos, Michael Schratz et al.
      Pages 5-27
    3. Kasper Kofod, Karen Seashore Louis, Lejf Moos, Boudewijn van Velzen
      Pages 29-47
  3. Introduction

  4. The Cross-Country Studies

  5. Reflections

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-191
    2. Boudewijn van Velzen, Karen Seashore Louis, Geert Devos, Mats Ekholm, Kasper Kofod, Lejf Moos et al.
      Pages 193-211

About this book


Provides a provocative examination of the interplay between political culture and educational policy. The goal is to provide a better understanding of how different countries are responding to the global exchange of policy ideas that includes 'the standards movement' and 'new public management' or accountability in the public sector.


education education policy educational system globalization Michael Schratz research Standards

Editors and affiliations

  • Karen Seashore Louis
    • 1
  • Boudewijn van Velzen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaUSA
  2. 2.APSNetherlands

About the editors

KAREN SEASHORE LOUIS is Regents Professor and Robert H. Beck Chair of Ideas in Education at the University of Minnesota, USA.
BOUDEWIJN A.M VAN VELZEN is a Senior Consultant at APS, National Centre for School Improvement in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Bibliographic information


"'Global trends in education' is a topic that saturates both popular media and professional writings about contemporary schooling, no doubt fueled in large part by seemingly irresistible comparisons of student achievement across nations. Using a unique database from seven Western countries, the authors demonstrate how the shape and consequences of similar reform ideas are significantly influenced by local political cultures, thus providing a compelling argument for modest expectations in response to grand visions. This book is a must-read, especially for those attempting to use policy for improving educational practice." - Kenneth Leithwood, professor emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto, Canada

"This excellent book reminds us that national education systems have an 'institutional memory,' a local color and a history that cannot be ignored by policymakers and bureaucrats. At the same time it shows that today's systems are affected by global trends in an unprecedented way. Interesting to see how globalization and the 'great narrative' of NPM reconfigures every system in its own unique way. The research team did an excellent job!" - Frans de Vijlder, professor of Governance and Innovation Dynamics in the Social Sectors, HAN University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands