ERIC Number: ED451613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Autonomy and Decentralisation: Between Hopes and Illusions. A Comparative Study of Reforms in Five European Countries.
This paper analyzes changes in decision-making in France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and tries to identify trends in these countries' reforms. In general, the reforms initiated by these five countries redesigned the loci of decision-making between the government levels, modified the modes of decision at these levels, and redistributed the domains of decision. The process implied a substantial change of competencies and capacities in decision-making, which ultimately implemented a new accountability framework. The article outlines national educational reforms, offers a conceptual framework of autonomy and decentralization of power in bureaucratic organizations, gives indicators of loci of decision-making, and lists domains and types of decisions in the five countries. It was found that despite the geographic and economic differences among these countries, the initiated reforms contained some common features. Everywhere the aim was the decentralization of the loci of decision-making, the increase of local control, and the promotion of school autonomy. Nevertheless, analysis reveals deep differences in these reforms: the domains of decision transferred from the central to the local level varied, the distribution of responsibilities to the schools and local authorities was unequal, and the type and amount of power endorsed by the government were different. (Contains 12 endnotes.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).