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From Class to Identity

From Class to Identity: The politics of education reforms in former Yugoslavia

Jana Bacevic
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 250
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  • Book Info
    From Class to Identity
    Book Description:

    Jana Bacevic provides an innovative analysis of education policy-making in the processes of social transformation and post-conflict development in the Western Balkans. Based on case studies of educational reform in the former Yugoslavia - from the decade before its violent breakup to contemporary efforts in post-conflict reconstruction - From Class to Identity tells the story of the political processes and motivations underlying each reform. The book moves away from technical-rational or prescriptive approaches that dominate the literature on education policy-making during social transformation, and offers an example on how to include the social, political and cultural context in the understanding of policy reforms. It connects education policy at a particular time in a particular place with broader questions such as: What is the role of education in society? What kind of education is needed for a ‘good’ society? Who are the ‘targets’ of education policies (individuals/citizens, ethnic/religious/linguistic groups, societies)? Bacevic shows how different answers to these questions influence the contents and outcomes of policies.

    eISBN: 978-615-5225-73-4
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VIII)
  3. List of abbreviations
    (pp. IX-X)
  4. Preface and acknowledgments
    (pp. XI-XIV)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    This book tells the story of the development of education policies in former Yugoslavia, as well as in some of its former constituent parts¹ today. More than ten years have elapsed from the end of the violent conflict that forever changed the way the region is thought of, both in scholarly circles and among those who have the dubious fortune of sharing the citizenship of one (or more) of its successor states, but the region remains marked by the conflict and its different legacies. In this context, education is frequently conceptualized as the magic ingredient that can help the people...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Vocationalizing Education: Conflict, Cohesion, and Dissent in Socialist Yugoslavia
    (pp. 27-78)

    The most comprehensive and overarching education reform in socialist Yugoslavia was introduced in the 1970s, and is known as vocation-oriented education.¹ Of course, various changes had already been implemented during, as well as in the aftermath of, World War II: teaching was modernized, and curricula purged of “bourgeois” elements, replaced by the ideology of dialectical materialism. The structure of the education system, however, had essentially been inherited from the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia. What changed significantly was the intake. In 1973, there were already almost a million students in secondary education (EP January 20, 1975). The percentage of highly educated...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Religious Education or Civic EUcation? Education Policy and Transition in Post-Milošević Serbia
    (pp. 79-124)

    Reforms implemented during the 1970s and 1980s did not succeed in preventing the breakup of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. By the end of the 1980s, political fragmentation, combined with nationalist mobilization, resulted in the conflict that changed the face of the region forever. Education followed the trajectory of other public policies of the time: from the focus on employment and the containment of social unrest that characterized the vocation-oriented education reform in the 1970s and the early 1980s, it evolved to support the processes of ethnic mobilization and consolidation of the new nation-states that emerged from the conflict....

  8. CHAPTER 4 Higher Education and Post-Conflict Development in Sandžak, Kosovo, and Macedonia
    (pp. 125-194)

    The period of transition in the post-Yugoslav states brought in substantive changes in all arenas of policymaking. The policy environment also underwent important changes. The period of transition and, specifically, of post-conflict development, was (and still is) characterized by the growing influence of international and transnational actors and networks on policymaking. In the first place are frameworks and standards related to the EU accession (or European integration), which all of the post-Yugoslav states have identified as their political goal. Although, at the time of writing this book, only Slovenia and Croatia have actually acceded to the European Union, the political,...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Conclusion: Education after Yugoslavia
    (pp. 195-214)

    In 1969, Theodor Adorno wrote: “The premier demand upon all education is that Auschwitz not happen again” (Adorno 1998 [1969]). He was looking back not only at the Holocaust and the horrors of the World War II, but also at the return to public life of some of the generals and soldiers who ordered and committed them, suggesting that legal proceedings could never be sufficient to redress the legacy of the war (cf. Cho 2009). This led him to the question: how to design public policies and institutions that would prevent WWII horrors from repeating? “Every debate about the ideals...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 215-230)
  11. Index
    (pp. 231-236)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 237-237)