Education, equality and the European social model
Brine, J., Rasmussen, P., Lynch, K., Boyadjieva, P., Peters , M. A. and Sunker, H. (2009) Education, equality and the European social model. In: Dale, R. and Robertson , S., eds. (2009) Globalisation & Europeanisation in Education. Oxford: Symposium Books, pp. 159-177. ISBN 978-1-873927-90-8
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Social welfare and education have been themes in European collaboration since the early days of the Treaty of Rome. Especially after the establishment in 2000 of the Lisbon agenda the EU has stepped up its efforts in these two areas and has integrated both of them in a strategy for growth and employment. The importance of education is often mentioned in EU documents on social welfare. However, European policies in the areas of welfare and education are marked by a fundamental tension between the pursuit of capitalist growth on one hand, the pursuit of social justice and equality on the other. This often leads to an impoversihed conceptualisation of education as just another service to be delivered on the market. A more holistic approach to education policy is necessary,, an approach which takes account of the broader conditions of equality and includes not only the economic, but also the political, cultural and affective deminsions of educational equality.