Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA

Published 23 October 2013

Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA

New and Expanded Second Edition, Palgrave 2013

by Andy Green


-‘I think it would be a very exceptional minister, senior civil servant or director of education who would not benefit from a course in the history and philosophy of education with a comparative bias – and from reading Andy Green. Green’s seminal book treats the relationship between education and the state…’, Anne Corbett, Times Educational Supplement.

-‘Green has provided a work of such depth and scope that historians and sociologists might ignore at their own considerable loss’. Dianne Snow, Comparative Education

Education and State Formation was a very good book when first published in 1990; in its 2nd edition, it is an even better one, the new final chapter of which (‘Postscript’) brings the earlier account fully up-to-date, embracing new literatures and more countries, notably Japan, making it one of the most lucid and intelligent analyses available of the relationship between education and nation-building. The new section on East Asia is mightily impressive stuff – well written, immensely scholarly and almost a book in itself.’ David Halpin, Visiting Professor, Southwestern University, China

Education has been a key instrument of nation-building in new states.  National education systems have been used to assimilate immigrants, to promote established religious doctrines, to spread the standard form of national languages and to forge national identities and cultures. They helped construct the very subjectivities of citizenship, justifying the ways of the state to the people and the duties of the people to the state.

In this second edition of his seminal book on the origins of public education in England, France, Prussia, and the USA, Andy Green shows how education has also been used as a tool of successful state formation in the developmental states of East Asia. While human capital theories have focused on how schools and colleges supply the skills for economic growth, Green shows how the forming of citizens and national identities through education has often provided the necessary condition for both economic and social development.

The book is available in paperback from Palgrave at 24.99.  A discount is available via the publisher’s form.

More Praise for Education and State Formation

-‘This is a courageous and challenging book. Not everyone will agree with it, but anyone trying to make sense of the deep-seated changes which are taking place at this time in education systems worldwide can benefit from the insights gleaned from the attempt to grapple with the arguments developed by Andy Green’, Roy Lowe, History of Education

-‘A book of Green’s scope is bound to provoke disagreement over one or another interpretation and specialists will be able to point to scholarship that he has missed, but that should not detract from its importance. It is learned, thought-provoking, and well-written.’ Patrick J. Harrigan, Historical Studies in Education

- ‘The author himself is shown as an historian of education politics well versed in developments in continental Europe as well as Britain. The book is eminently readable, and well argued and documented’, Witold Tulasiewicz, Comparative Education

-‘Andy Green has written a very good book indeed. He has employed a comparative historical focus to explain the very uneven development of schooling in 19th-century Europe and North America, and more specifically to explain the relative backwardness of education in England and Wales, especially in the vocational area’….This programme is followed through and its value outstandingly demonstrated in chapters on the relationship between education and state formation in Prussia and France, the USA and England….Any sense of breathlessness in these brief accounts is, though, largely obviated by the tightness and skill with which the theoretical framework is elaborated in and through them and by the vitality and overall coherence of the interpretations offered.’ Roger Dale, Journal of Education Policy

-‘The Rise of Education Systems in England and USA – the first serious, all-embracing, socio-historical, cross-national analysis of this whole phenomenon. In my view this should be required reading for all government ministers, whatever their hue or degree of dampness, since it reveals the historical roots of what has been called “the British disease” which has landed us at our present level of relative backwardness so vividly, and indignantly high-lighted by Clause Moser’, Brian Simon, Centenary Lecture, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

-‘Andy Green’s book makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the changing role of the state in education provision. It should be read widely – and particularly by leading policy-makers in all the main political parties’, Clyde Chitty, Forum