Education reform as a governmental strategy


  • Ludwig A. Pongratz Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Palabras clave:

PISA, governmentality, self-control, power, educational reform, economic control.


This paper takes the vigorous political debate unleashed in Germany by the results of the PISA study as a stimulus to take a closer look at the strategic aims and effects of the current education reforms, of which the PISA study is only one example. It shows that the reform measures underpin a powerful process of normalisation. Seen in this way, the PISA study, along with other reform measures, can be seen as a ‘power stabiliser’.
In order to understand this situation more precisely, the paper turns to Foucault’s consideration of the ’analytics of power’. The studies of governmentality inspired by Foucault, in particular, contribute to a more precise grasp of neoliberalism’s techniques of government. They indicate how techniques of political domination are linked with ‘technologies of the self’. The ‘discourse of self-organisation’ can be seen as the core of a governmental strategy to assimilate education more thoroughly than ever before into the network of disciplinary procedures.