NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1160717
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-9072
Educational Commitments in the 2016 Election to the Scottish Parliament: An Analysis of Party Manifestos
Humes, Walter
Scottish Educational Review, v49 n1 p14-32 2017
This paper examines the 2016 manifestos of the main political parties seeking election to the Scottish Parliament, with particular reference to their educational commitments on issues of equality and inclusion. The policy context is described and related to academic accounts of the policy-making process. Use is made of discourse analysis as a method of highlighting key concepts and recurring textual motifs. After some general observations about manifestos as a sub-genre of political discourse, the proposals of five parties (SNP, Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green) are considered in more detail. Education is located within the overall political programmes of the parties and points of tension and contradiction, both within and between manifestos, are noted. In the discussion section, reference is made to theoretical perspectives on policy narratives and to George Orwell's critique of political language as measures against which the manifestos might be judged. Among the features that receive attention are the need for a stronger knowledge-base about the economics of education to evaluate policy proposals, ambivalence over the use of evidence to generate policies, and the omission of some controversial educational topics. The paper concludes by suggesting that the rhetorical invocation of concepts such as fairness, justice and equity is inevitably compromised by the practical constraints of the policy-making process.
Scottish Educational Review. School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, Scotland, UK. e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A