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Network participants

Stephen J Ball, IOE, University College London

Stephen J Ball is Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology of Education at the University College London, Institute of Education. He has written 20 books and had published over 140 journal articles. Recent book: Edu.Net (Routledge 2017) – an examination of the global role of business and philanthropic foundations in the reform of education systems and the state. Recent research focuses on the work of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in India and the USA. 

Kristiina Brunila, University of Helsinki

Kristiina Brunila works as a Professor of social justice and equality in education in the University of Helsinki where she directs AGORA for the study of social justice -research centre, several research projects and a research group focused on sociology and philosophy of education. Her current research interests relate to marketisation, privatisation, psychologisation and neuroliberalism in education, precision education governance, and to questions of social justice.

Katja Brøgger, Danish School of Education

Katja Brøgger is Associate Professor in education policy, governance and administration at the Department of Education Science. Katja is research program director of Policy Futures: The stakes of democracy in education policy, governance and administration in a transnational era. Her research and teaching areas are education policy, governance and administration. 

Lucas Cone, Danish School of Education (Network Coordinator)

Lucas Lundbye Cone is a PhD Fellow at the Department of Educational Science, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University. His research explores educational privatization through a comparative, ethnographic lens, questioning across multiple sites the ways in which educational aims, practices, and policies are re-configured by the blooming private sector involvement in public education. 

Steven Courtney, University of Manchester

Steven J Courtney is Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on educational leadership and policy, where he uses critical-sociological approaches to explore and theorise the intersection of privatisation and the identities and practices of educational leaders. Dr Courtney is an editor of the journal Critical Studies in Education and regional editor (UK) of Journal of Educational Administration and History.  

Lisa Devos, UCLouvain

Lisa Devos is a PhD Student in the Interdisciplinary Group of Research in Socialization, Education & Formation (GIRSEF) at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium (UCLouvain). Her research explores the fragmentation of education system and the diversification of educational and organizational forms. She studies the increasing tendency of schools to create partnerships with external actors, sometimes private organizations. She analyses the delegation of education process to some out-of-school actors through the example of French-speaking part of Belgium.

Sonia Exley, London School of Economics and Political Science

Sonia Exley is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economic and Political Science. Sonia’s specialist area of research is education policy. She has a particular interest in the marketisation and privatisation of education systems across the world and the implications such developments may have for disadvantaged groups in society. Currently she is completing a project funded by the International Inequalities Institute which has explored government policies in South Korea aiming to regulate and disincentivise private tutoring (or ‘shadow education’) markets, considering the possible relevance of these policies for England.  

Kathleen Falkenberg, Humboldt University

Kathleen Falkenberg is a researcher at the Centre for Comparative and International Education at Humboldt University, Berlin. Until today, Kathleen's research has focused on the development and shift shaping of the private sector in Sweden and Germany, especially in primary and secondary education, focusing on teachers' changing work conditions and issues of social inclusion. Her second focus has been on voucher schemes in several regions around the world. In the future, she plans on looking deeper into the kindergarten sector in Germany since it is also highly privatized and under political pressure at the same time. Her work combines comparative education research with qualitative methodologies using interviews. and/or observation, and document analysis. 

Annina Förschler, Helmut Schmidt University

Annina Förschler is a Research Fellow at the Department of Educational Science at the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, currently working on the DFG-project “Data Infrastructures and Data Management in Education”, which investigates the implementation and usage of (multi-level) digital infrastructures in education policy from a critical data studies perspective. In her PhD she traces and maps recent power shifts and transformations in German education governance, focusing on the expanding, multidimensional involvement of (new/intermediary) non-state actors and (policy) networks in the digital education agenda and policy setting. She hereby sheds light on new heterarchic power structures, the expanding influence of private/business (particularly EdTech) interests and ‘expertise’ as well as the (re-)configuration of ‘good’ and ‘contemporary’ schooling/learning/teaching and governance.

Emiliano Grimaldi, University of Naples "Federico II"

Emiliano Grimaldi is Associate Professor of Sociology of Education at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II, in Italy. His work is in education policy sociology and his research has centred on the transformations of educational governance and governmentality, NPM reforms in education, and the interplay between digitalisation, privatisation and education. He is the author of An Archaeology of Educational Evaluation. Epistemological Spaces and Political Paradoxes (Routledge, 2019) and one of the editors of New Public Management and the Reform of Education. European lessons for policy and practice (Routledge 2016, with H. Gunter, D. Hall and R. Serpieri).  

Maria Louise Larsen Hedegaard, Danish School of Education

Maria is a PhD student in the Policy Futures Research Program at the Danish School of Education.

Malin Ideland , University of Malmö

Malin Ideland is Professor in educational sciences with specialization in Ethnology at the Faculty of Education and Society, Malmö University. Malin's research concerns the consequences of marketization and neoliberalization of education. More specifically, she explores how edu-preneurs, i.e. entrepreneurs selling products and services to school, think of how schooling is and should be organized; how discourses on teaching, learning and important knowledge are produced on a business market. 


Jaakko Kauko, Tampere University

Jaakko Kauko is Professor of Education Policy at the Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University. His research interests are in the fields of education policy and comparative education. Thematically his focus is on quality and evaluation in education and the use of knowledge and power in policymaking. He is interested in how privatization of knowledge and knowledge production changes education policymaking.

Sonja Kosunen, University of Helsinki

Sonja Kosunen is Assistant Professor at the University of Helsinki. Sonja's research interests include questions of segregation, distinction and reproduction in education and involve themes of marketisation and privatisation of higher education. She is currently leading a project on Privatisation and Access to Higher Education.

Martin Lawn, University of Edinburgh

Martin Lawn is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, the Centre for Research in Digital Education.  Previously, he was a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. He has been a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, Visiting Professor in CELE, University of Turku (Finland) and at the University of Umea, and  Professor of Education at the University of Birmingham. He was the Founding Editor of the European Educational Research Journal and the first Secretary General of the European Educational Research Association. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science (UK).  

Lejf Moos, Danish School of Education

Lejf Moos is Associate Professor Emeritus at Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Copenhagen. He is editor of the Springer book series: Educational Governance Research. 

Brendan Munhall, Stockholm University

Brendan Munhall is a PhD student at the Department of Education, Stockholm University. Brendan's research interests relate to the school-choice process within the decentralized Swedish education system, which is characterized by unique market-based features. His doctoral study involves interviewing recently migrated students about their upper-secondary school choice and focuses on their strategies, experiences and perspectives in the competitive quasi-market school system.

Eszter Neumann, The Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest  

Eszter Neumann is a research fellow at the Institute for Minority Studies at the Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest. She is a sociologist of education and the link-convenor for the sociologies of education network of the European Education Research Association. Her current postdoctoral research focuses on recent privatization processes in Hungary with a special focus on church-state relations in the context of populist governance, the growing involvement of Christian churches in the education and social sectors and their policy-making ambitions and capacities.

Rita Nikolai, Humboldt University

Prof. Dr. Rita Nikolai is a Heisenberg-Fellow of the German Research Foundation at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Germany, Institute for Education Studies. Her research focuses on education policy, theories of institutional change, the relationship between education and social policy and the private school development in liberal welfare states (Australia, England, New Zealand) and conservative welfare states (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). She analyzes private school developments, social inequality, the role of political parties and teacher unions in school politics and changes in education regimes. 


Francesca Peruzzo, University of Birmingham (UK)

Francesca Peruzzo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Education at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her research interests lie in the intersection between governmentality, inclusion, ableism, and education policy. Her doctoral study focused on ableism and neoliberal policies in higher education and their implications for equity of opportunities. She is currently the Research Lead of the DIGITAL in coronavirus project and the Education RESET project, analysing inclusive digital and non-digital technologies and pedagogical assemblages in the Global South and North during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact of privatisation and neoliberal policies on socially just and decolonised practices in a post-pandemic education.  

Catarina Player-Koro, University of Gothenburg

Catarina Player-Koro is Associate Professor at the University of Gorhenburg, Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies. Her interests are in critical education policy studies where the effects of marketization/privatization and neoliberal governance are of particular interest. Within this area, it is mainly the consequences of digitization of the education system, for teachers, students, the school's content and the form of teaching as well as the management of the education system that is in focus, but also research on the consequences of state reforms for the education system and research on teacher profession. 

Mie Plotnikof, Danish School of Education

Mie Plotnikof is Associate Professor at the Department of Education Studies, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University. Mie works at the intersection of organization studies, governance studies and education studies. Her research focuses on constitutive processes of neo-liberal governance discourses (e.g. new public management and new public governance) as well as more marginal organizational discourses emerging across the public, civic and private sectors - specifically in the area of education. In this context, she studies how struggles over meanings, identity, difference, dis/organization and power-resistance manifest in often contradicting policy processes and work practices related to competing discourses.

Anthemis Raptopoulou, Stockholm University

Anthemis Raptopoulou is a PhD Fellow at the Department of Education, Stockholm University. Anthemis’ research interest is in the area of education policy, governance and the effects of marketization in education. Her doctoral study focuses on the recent addition of programming into the Swedish compulsory curriculum, where she explores emerging policy networks, private sector involvement and their influence in the policy-making process.

Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, University of Gothenburg

Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt is Associate Professor in Education at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interest include studies of emerging policy networks and discourses on digitization in schools, including event ethnographies of it trade fairs. Annika also does studies on the digitization and marketization of education, teachers’ digital work and the politics of digital platforms. 

Linda Rönnberg,  Umeå University

Linda Rönnberg is an associate professor in political science and senior lecturer at the Department of Applied Educational Science, Umeå University. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Turku. Her research interests include education governance, politics and policy with a focus on evaluation and inspection, marketization/privatization and internationalisation.

Roberto Serpieri, University of Naples "Federico II"

Roberto Serpieri is Professor of Educational Policy and of Sociology of Education at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Naples Federico II. His research interests are in the field of Foucauldian and governmentality studies in education. He has worked on critical leadership studies, on educational privatization and the reforms and reconfigurations of the education State. 

Danilo Taglietti, University of Naples “Federico II”

Danilo Taglietti is a PhD Fellow at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples “Federico II”. In his works, he tries to explore the actual shapes of the constitution of educational subjectivities at the crossroads of the complex entanglement among the forces of the informational, the biological and the economical. He adopts quantitative and qualitative approaches to address the problem of the reforming of educational systems and organizations not in terms of neoliberalism as a driving ideology or discourse, but in terms of the becoming neoliberal of our subjectivities.

Anne West, London School of Economics and Political Science

Anne West is Professor of Education Policy in the Department of Social Policy at the LSE; she is also Director of the Education Research Group. Her research focuses on education policy particularly market-oriented reforms in England and in comparative context, and the financing of school-based and early years education. She has published extensively in the field of education policyand governmentality studies in education.