A comparative study on the educational debate in central Europe, with specific reference to Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia 1989-1991

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This dissertation seeks to determine how the socio-economic and political changes, following the 1989 revolutions in Central Europe, have found reflection and led to the emergence of interest groups in the education debate. It looks at the reforms initiated by the new ruling .power-elite in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. This reform process, embodying the value system of the new governments, has led, the dissertation seeks to show, directly to new and vibrant interest groups on the educational landscape. This study identifies the seven prominent interest groups - seeking to satisfy their own interests - which engage the government in the education policy making arena. This policy making arena, which I refer to as the "arena of power", is analysed through focussing on the relationship of power between the seven interest groups and the state. The Halasz (1986: 123) classification of interest groups in communist Hungary in 1986, forms the point of departure for my examination of post-1989 interest groups. Each chapter highlights the circumstances that influenced the development of interest groups and the extent of their participation in reforms. The dissertation concludes with a reclassification of post-1989 interest groups in Central Europe, in order to facilitate a better understanding of the dynamics of interest groups in the "arena of power".

Bibliography: p. 191-205.