Conflict-affected contexts and emergence of global education policy: The case of el salvador’s educo program1

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses education reform in conflict-affected settings and discusses the ways in which such reform can be influenced-and then elsewhere leveraged- by international organizations. In so doing, I will argue not only that conflict-affected settings are particularly susceptible to international influence, but, more broadly, that conflict affected settings can serve-indeed, have served-as an important “blind spot” where certain kinds of reforms are inscribed and then promoted by international organizations that must “sell” policies to sustain their raison d’être (Santos, 2007). In other words, education reform in these contexts-as “blind spots” that lack transparency and accountability-can at times be guided by and forged in the image of influential international actors, just as Naomi Klein (2007) has argued in relation to economic policy more generally in such situations. Importantly, I will suggest that these reform outcomes are likely to occur under particular conditions. In making this argument, I discuss a period of educational reform in El Salvador that spans the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, a time during which this country concluded its civil war and transitioned to democracy. More specifically, I discuss the development of the “Education with Community Participation” (EDUCO) program, which in the post-war period would not only serve as the basis for systemwide reform of the Salvadoran education sector, but would go on to become a widely promoted, recognized, and emulated policy. While the specifics of this approach to education governance will be discussed later, suffice to say here that it involved direct community management of local schools, including the ability to hire and fire teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Contested Role of Education in Conflict and Fragility
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789463000109
ISBN (Print)9789463000093
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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