Conclusion : the withering of the nation state in educational development?

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Journal article

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Education and Society

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James Nicholas Publishers, Pty. Ltd.


One of the explanations for the success of these East Asian societies in the field of education is in terms of purposeful government. Similarly in the field of comparative social security, state-centric accounts are powerful explanations for the success of developments in these societies. Of course, the prominent role of education in the tradition and culture of these societies may reinforce the important role of education and, subsequently, give the impetus for governments in these societies to promote education. More interestingly, the governments in these societies are very ‘instrumental’ in raising the quality of education and in promoting a learning society with the intention of maintaining the competitiveness of their societies in both regional and global markets and particularly, in preparing people for the future knowledge-based economy. Unlike the hyperglobalists’ argument that modern states’ capacities are declining and therefore they are unable to cope with the complicated issues resulting from the increasingly globalized world, the above case studies show that in these East Asian societies, states remain the most influential actors in shaping local education policy formulation and directing educational development. The principal goals of this concluding article are to contrast and compare the different development experiences in these Chinese societies, particularly reflecting upon the similarities and differences in patterns of educational decentralization. More specifically, this conclusion also examines the role of these East Asian governments in educational developments in the light of the global trend of educational decentralization.



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Recommended Citation

Mok, K.-h. (2001). Conclusion: The withering of the nation state in educational development?. Education and Society, 19(3), 97-114. doi: 10.7459/es/19.3.06