The Political Economy of Education Privatization in Times of Crises

Date: 22 Oct 2020
Time: 1:00pm - 2:15pm

Event Type: Webinar

Antoni Verger & Clara Fontdevila, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain


Online Lecture Series

Thursdays at 1pm – 2.15pm, October 8th -December 10th, 2020


Online on ZOOM – Register here

The Political Economy of Education in Conflict Contexts Research Network (PEER Network), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (ARHC) through Global Challenges Research Fund Network Plus Grant and led by the universities of Ulster, Cape Town, Nazarbayev and Sussex, in conjunction with UKFIET and the Centre for International Education (CIE) University of Sussex are organising a global, online lecture series exploring the theme of ‘the Political Economy of Education in Times of Conflict, Crises and Pandemics’.

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This series will be led and hosted by the Centre for International Education (CIE) University of Sussex between October and December 2020 and will be openly accessible, free and online and aimed at scholars and students of international development and education, and all those who seek to better understand the complex situations facing education systems around the world in a period of increasing instability, where education systems are challenged by war, environmental crisis, financial austerity and pandemics that threaten the futures of a generation of young people. The lecture series will be recorded and uploaded onto a designated webpage and contribute to an open source bank of materials and resources on the Political Economy of Education that will be produced by the PEER Network team during the lifespan of the project.

The Political Economy of Education in Times of Conflict, Crises and Pandemics

Books not bombs placardWhilst the current COVID19 pandemic has brought home to many citizens in the Global North the fragility of their existence, their education systems lack of resilience, and exacerbated and revealed widespread learning inequalities; in the Global South this is but one more crisis in a long list that have punctuated daily lives and educational journeys. This lecture series seeks to challenge its speakers and participants to go beyond narrow understandings of education and its relationship to economy and society and to critically explore the complex ways that education systems are linked to war, peace, ecological crises, financial crises and pandemics – not merely as victims but also as drivers and catalysts. In doing so we seek to highlight that education systems and actors have agency, capable of producing conflict ridden and crises prone systems as well as succumbing to these factors, and that policy and practice matters in the pursuit of more socially just and equitable educational systems that can contribute to a fairer and better world. We also seek to highlight how education systems are affected by particular crises and what policy options they might have to redress this.

In that sense the series also seeks to recognise that education policy and practice is about power and its projection into the education system by competing social forces. For that reason we seek to draw upon a wide range of contexts and examples to highlight these contestations and their effects on issues of education and social justice/injustice in times of conflict and crises.

Calendar of Events

  • Thursday 8th October, 1-2.15pm (BST). Introduction to Lecture Series and Overview (Mario Novelli, CIE, University of Sussex, UK)
  • Thursday 15th October, 1-2.15pm (BST). The Politics of COVID 19 and Education (Prachi Srivastava, Western University , Canada)
  • Thursday 22nd October, 1-2.15pm (BST). The Political Economy of Education Privatization in Times of Crises (Antoni Verger & Clara Fontdevila, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)
  • Thursday 29th October, 1-2.15pm (GMT). Evidence & Education Policy Making in the Global South during Covid19: Pundits, Social Movements and Policy Makers in an age of unpredictability (Yusuf Sayed, University of Sussex, UK)
  • Thursday 5th November, 1-2.15pm (GMT). The Construction and Survival of an Intellectual Community during Structural Adjustment in Africa (Nimi Hoffman, University of Sussex, UK)
  • Thursday 12th November, 1-2.15pm (GMT). Towards a Political Economy of Education and Conflict in South Africa’ (Azeem Badroodien and Yunus Omar, University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Thursday 19th November, 1-2.15pm (GMT). Academics For Peace & The Political Economy of Repression in Turkey’s Higher Education Sector (Birgul Kutan, University of Sussex, UK & Mehmet Ugur, University of Greenwich, UK).
  • Thursday 26thth November, 1-2.15pm (GMT). The Politics and Policy of Education in Iraq (Kelsey Shanks, University of Ulster, UK).
  • Thursday 3rd December, 1-2.15pm (GMT). Gender, Education, Conflict & Crises (Naureen Durrani & Hélène Thibault Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan )
  • Thursday 10th December, 1-2.15pm (GMT). Rethinking Peace Education: A Cultural Political Economy Approach (Sean Higgins, University of Sussex, UK)


Please Register for each lecture on the link below, and you will be sent a ZOOM link prior to each event.

This event can also be viewed during the live session and as a recording via the following link