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To be a part of this online event, please email Dr Maren Elfert to receive the link.

In this CPPR lunchtime seminar, Dr Maren Elfert examines the relationship between the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) between the 1960s and the 1980s.

It focuses on the Co-operative Program (CP) between the two organizations, which was established in 1964 and lasted officially until 1989. Drawing on archival research and interviews with former UNESCO and World Bank officials, the paper traces the history of the Co-operative Program, which was characterized by intense power struggles exacerbated by Cold War tensions. During the 25 years of the duration of the Co-operative Program, the World Bank developed into the most influential policy shaper for education in developing countries, while the influence of UNESCO, created in the post-World War II order as the United Nations’ designated organization for education, declined.

Using Bourdieu’s concept of fields as an analytical lens, the World Bank’s expansion to a development agency will be explained by its greater autonomy as a field, endowed with more capital based on the rationalization of education and isomorphic processes of professionalization of the “field of power” of educational planning. To the detriment of UNESCO, the World Bank became the powerhouse of a global governance structure that was built with support from the United States government and furthered by the rise of economics.

About the speaker

Dr Maren Elfert is a Lecturer in Education and Society at the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London.

To be a part of this online event, please email Dr Maren Elfert to receive the link.

At this event

Maren Elfert

Senior Lecturer in International Education

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