Rediscovering post-socialism in comparative education

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38 Scopus citations


The study of (post)socialism has always had a complicated relationship with comparative education. Tracing the changing emphases of research on (post)socialism during and after the Cold War, this chapter highlights how (post)socialist studies moved from being highly politicized during the Cold War, to becoming subsumed by convergence and modernization theories after the collapse of the socialist bloc, to reemerging as a part of broader "post" philosophies reflecting the uncertainties and contradictions of social life. This chapter proposes to treat post-socialism not only as a geographic area, but also as a conceptual category that allows us to engage in theorizing divergence, difference, and uncertainty in the context of globalization. It is a space from which we can further complicate (not clarify) our understanding of ongoing reconfigurations of educational spaces in a global context, and ultimately challenge the evolutionary scheme of thought and established concepts of Western modernity. For comparative education and social theory more broadly, post-socialism can thus become a challenge (or an agenda) for future debates - whether theoretical or methodological - about global processes and their multiple effects on education and societies today, in the past, and in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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