An American construction of European education space

Iveta Silova, Will Brehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The construction of the European education space has typically been attributed to European education policy makers, institutions, and networks. Rarely do scholars consider the role of outside, non-European actors in shaping the terrain of European education thought and practice. This article considers the construction of the European education space as a borderless project with multidirectional flows of ideas, policies, and academics. While this project has created an intellectual space for the emergence of new theoretical insights and policy instruments within Europe, it has also had inevitable consequences for the study of comparative education outside Europe. This article explores how American scholars have attempted to influence the development of comparative education as a field in the United States by purposefully constructing specific notions of European education during the cold war (1969-85). Drawing on content analysis of comparative education scholarship in Western European Education – a journal published in the United States – this article discusses the role of journal editors in the construction of European education spaces in order to advance not only a marginalized geographical area of study within the expanding American field of comparative education, but also a methodological vision for the future of comparative education, one free of positivist techniques, quantitative methodologies, and modernization ideologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Educational Research Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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