The evaluative boundary of the state

Special report. Tools for managerial reforms and professional organization
Uses of and resistance against the government by performance of the teaching profession in Mexico (2008–2019)
By Pablo Cussac

From 2013 to 2019, the Teachers’ Professional Service was an attempt to radically recompose the relationship between the teaching profession and the Mexican state. This instrument was implemented by a coalition of experts with close ties to the OECD, who tried to professionalize teachers and to problematize and undo the corporatist management of the profession through impersonal recruitment mechanisms and evaluations. Following Andrew Abbott’s work, we interpret the Teachers’ Professional Service as a hinge both distinguishing and linking the administration and the teaching profession. The instrument thus participates in the emergence of two distinct ecologies. The evaluative reform gives rise to a demarcation in the respective boundaries and autonomies of the state administration and the teaching profession. Simultaneously, the instrument triggers conflicts in these now separated worlds. By retracing these renewed connections and tensions, the article shows how instruments, and resistance to them, shape different policy coalitions.

  • government by performance
  • resistance to policy instruments
  • state
  • teaching profession
  • evaluation
  • differentiation
  • Mexico
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