In the second half of the 20th century many social transformations and phenomena foreshadowed the advent of a "new" society. In particular, globalisation - that is, the increasing interdependence among the various regions of the world - is of primary importance, especially in society's collective imagination. National school systems have not been immune to these changes, as shown by the introduction of concepts such as "competition among schools", "school vouchers", "academic capitalism", and "school privatisation". But how do these two objects - globalisation and education - interact with each other? The author of this book feels that the answer is to be found in a powerful combination of ideas, inspired by neo-liberalism, that has shaped the processes of economic globalisation, state transformation, and educational system reform. These ideas' influence has been strengthened by international institutions, such as the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank, who are their main advocates, especially in the field of education.
Antonio Cobalti teaches Sociology and Sociology of Education at the University of Trento.