Humanism and democracy in comparative education

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18 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that contemporary education policies promoted by UNESCO and the OECD are embracing two distinct post-humanist visions, which I call the ‘sustainable futures’ and the ‘techno-solutionist’ strand. I will relate these strands to two conflicting agendas of education after World War II: the humanistic-emancipatory perspective represented by UNESCO, and the ‘economics of education’ movement, which was dominant in the OECD. I argue that comparative education scholars would be well advised to draw on the humanistic and democratic traditions of the field in critically analysing the range of promissory visions and master narratives that have emerged recently which carry de-humanising tendencies and represent a challenge to democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-415
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Early online date6 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Comparative Education
  • humanism
  • Democracy
  • Post-humanism
  • OECD
  • Sustainable Futures
  • techno-solutionism
  • skills


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