NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ871861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0141-8211
Global Knowledge-Based Policy in Fragmented Societies: The Case of Curriculum Reform in French-Speaking Belgium
Mangez, Eric
European Journal of Education, v45 n1 p60-73 Mar 2010
This article examines the relationship between knowledge and policy in French-speaking Belgium. It starts by describing Belgium as a consociational democracy, i.e. a society that is largely organised around integrated pillars of society (Catholic, secular), each of which provides a wide range of services (educational, training, health, health insurance, social care, family planning, leisure) to "its" people. This special political-institutional arrangement has profound implications for the way knowledge circulates (or not) and the way it is used (or not) both within pillars and across the policy community. We argue that consociational democracies are not likely to generate knowledge-driven policy communities. Since knowledge could threaten the peace, some things are better left unknown: the co-existence of distinct communities requires a form of discretion (Mangez, 2009). Recently, however, globalisation has led to changes in this long-standing state of affairs: elites are now seeking more knowledge about systems and joint regulation is on the rise. In the education sector, several policy issues, including curriculum issues, have been subject to new joint regulation. In the second part of the article, we take curriculum reform as a case study to investigate these changes. Although all school networks from both pillars are now obliged to follow common guidelines (influenced by globalisation), they are still responsible for transposing them to their individual curriculum programmes. Lexico-statistical analysis reveals that when they transpose these common guidelines to their own curricula, each network reasserts its own values and cultural references (including its own view of the role of knowledge).
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium