Globalisation processes are currently having a powerful and far-reaching influence upon all societies worldwide. At the same time, many communities are ever more forcefully acknowledging their distinctive characteristics and celebrating their cultural differences. In this turbulent era, societies that have undergone particularly rapid political, economic and social change have a collective experience from which others have much to learn. The analysis of such ‘societies in transition’, and their efforts to transform educational policy and practice, is one focus for this volume. The collective studies are also concerned with the impact of the processes of globalisation and geopolitical change upon the related transitions of post-colonial societies; and upon the implications of the analysis for international agency policy and practice throughout the developing world.
Contributors are drawn from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds representing national governments, international agencies, research bodies, policy makers, researchers and practitioners. All have extensive first-hand experience of the issues and contexts that they deal with. Together they report upon original field research, theoretically informed analyses, political perspectives and recent professional and practical experience. Specific national contexts considered in depth include the European states of Estonia, Poland and Germany, the new Republic of South Africa, contemporary Brazil, the transitional phases of Hong Kong and Macau as ‘remnants of empire’, and the small states of Eritrea and Belize. In broad scope the volume highlights the tensions that exist between powerful global agendas and efforts to improve the quality and relevance of educational provision in vastly different sociocultural contexts. As such, the book will be of direct interest to a wide range of researchers, students, policy makers, consultants and development agency personnel involved with comparative and international studies in education and across the social sciences.