Skills and inequality

The political economy of education reforms in Western welfare states


Professor Marius Busemeyer, University of Konstanz (Germany)


Education and training systems in Western Europe were relatively similar in the postwar period, but started to develop along very different paths in the subsequent phase of educational expansion, leading to the development of disctint worlds of skill formation that are similar to the well-known worlds of welfare capitalism. Crucial dimensions of variation are the role of vocational education and training (VET) relative to higher education, as well as the division of labor between public and private sources in education funding. The first part of the presentation explains the emergence of these development paths by highlighting the role of partisan politics in interaction with different institutional contexts. The second part discusses how educational institutions affect contemporary patterns of social inequality and popular attitudes towards education policy and the welfare state.

International Seminar


International seminar


European Centre