Reinventing School and School Administration

Special Report: School Policies Coordinated by Frédéric Sawicki
A Pedagogical and Managerial Law Analyzed through the Eyes of Those Who Drafted It
By Sylvie Aebischer


A managerial discourse in French educational policies has been established since the 1980s. The 1989 law governing education in France (the so-called Loi Jospin) was a pivotal moment of this evolution, even if it is mostly seen as a pedagogical text. This paper studies the 1989 reform from a perspective rarely used in political science, i.e., how the law was drafted within the cabinet by the minister’€™s advisers. The managerial emphasis of this pedagogical text can be explained by those who drafted it and by the way they worked. The paper reviews the careers of the minister’€™s advisers, showing the links between their social origins, professional socialization, their relation to the school system, and their attachment to the state reform.-€
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