The fringe is the centre: racism, pseudoscience and authoritarianism in the dominant English education policy network

David Gillborn*, Ian McGimpsey, Paul Warmington

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Abstract

    The term ‘chumocracy’ has been used to describe a tendency within the UK's Conservative government to appoint friends and allies to key public positions; this image seriously underestimates the scale and influence of networks that shape policy and supply individuals to key roles. This paper maps networks that converge around conservative and sometimes extreme views on race and education. These networks include media figures, academics, public officials and a range of campaigning organisations. They are characterized by an authoritarian ideology, including hereditarian and pseudoscientific beliefs, that views Black and working-class populations as unstable and threatening. They shape policies that seek to silence critical debate about structural racism, while promoting an education characterised by intensified testing, selection, curricular control and strict discipline.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102056
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
    Volume115
    Early online date1 Sept 2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

    Keywords

    • Education policy
    • Network governance
    • Hereditarianism
    • Intellectual flow
    • Knotworking
    • Racism

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