The State, Business and Education


The State, Business and Education

Public–Private Partnerships Revisited

9781788970327 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Gita Steiner-Khamsi, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Comparative Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, US; Honorary UNESCO Chair in Comparative Education Policy and Alexandra Draxler, Senior Advisor, NORRAG
Publication Date: 2018 ISBN: 978 1 78897 032 7 Extent: 208 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

The State, Business and Education contributes to the ongoing debates surrounding the effects of public funding of private entities by examining the ways in which they affect the quality and equity of those services, and the realization of human rights. Using case studies from both the developing and developed world this book illustrates the variety of ways in which private actors have expanded their involvement in education as a business.

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Businesses, philanthropies and non-profit entities are increasingly successful in capturing public funds to support private provision of schooling in developed and developing countries. Coupled with market-based reforms that include weak regulation, control over workforces, standardization of processes and economies of scale, private provision of schooling is often seen to be convenient for both public authorities and businesses. This book examines how the public subsidization of these forms of private education affects quality, equality and the realization of human rights.

With original research from leading experts, The State, Business and Education sheds light on the privatization of education in fragile circumstances. It illustrates the ways in which private actors have expanded their involvement in education as a business, and shows the influence of policy borrowing on the spread of for-profit education. Case studies from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India and Syrian refugee camps illustrate the ways in which private actors have expanded their involvement in education as a business.

This book will be of interest not only to academics and students of international and comparative education, but also to education development professionals in both the private and public sectors, with its empirical assessment of case studies, and careful consideration of the lessons to be learned from each.
Contributors: M. Avelar, J. Barkan, M. de Koning, A. Draxler, C. Fontdevila, S. Kamat, F. Menashy, M.C. Moschetti, E. Richardson, B. Schulte, C.A. Spreen, G. Steiner-Khamsi, A. Verger, Z. Zakharia, A. Zancajo


1. Introduction
Gita Steiner-Khamsi and Alexandra Draxler

2. Experimenting with educational development: International actors and the promotion of private schooling in vulnerable contexts
Antoni Verger, Adrián Zancajo and Clara Fontdevila

3. Advocacy as core business: new philanthropy strategies in Brazilian education policy-making
Marina Avelar

4. Private participation in the education of Syrian refugees: Understanding the roles of businesses and foundations
Zeena Zakharia and Francine Menashy

5. Allies and competitors: Private schools and the state in China
Barbara Schulte

6. Unfair competition: Exploring state-funded low-fee private schools’ logics of action in Buenos Aires
Mauro C. Moschetti

7. From billionaires to the bottom billion: who’s making education policy for the poor in emerging economies?
Carole Anne Spreen and Sangeeta Kamat

8. From low-cost to low-fee: BRAC’s transition to a for-profit private school model in Bangladesh
Emily Richardson

9. Death by a Thousand Cuts: Privatizing Public Education in the USA
Joanne Barkan

10. Public-private partnerships in education assessed through the lens of human rights
Mireille de Koning


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