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Title: Exploring school autonomy frontiers in the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Author: Santalova, Antonina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 643X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This study provides an empirical picture of the ways in which the New Public Management doctrine has been implemented in the context of post-Soviet states in Central Asia. Specifically, the data present evidence on the extent of school autonomy along six dimensions in the three states. The implications of the shift towards education decentralisation have been studied and explained. Based on a mixed method this evidence is drawn from three sources: surveys, interviews, and legislative analysis. With the research limitations in mind, based on the analysis undertaken, it is possible to identify some important messages regarding academic theory and education management practice. The first message is that neo-institutional theory, particularly historical institutionalism, has been supported by the evidence from the post-Soviet states. Despite quite diverse trajectories of the countries' political, economic and public sectors development over the last two decades, the policies promoted in education appear to be converging in both outputs and outcomes across the region. The three countries demonstrated persistent path-dependency through their inability to overcome institutional inertia, so that operational policy and structure dimensions have not been decentralized, combined with the effect of declining fiscal and bureaucratic capacity at the centre, so that managerial matters have been delegated to a school level. This trend was regional. The second message is that, the patterns observed in the three post-Soviet states displayed similarities to the patterns observed in education systems of the developed western democracies. Hence, the view that the structure of the post-communist welfare states is problematic, and that the particularities of their transition with budget cuts on top of the communist legacy and a hodge-podge of different approaches do not allow these states to be classified (cf. Orenstein 2008), has not been supported by the evidence. Education institutions in the three post-Soviet countries investigated conformed to a general West European pattern, although for different reasons.
Supervisor: Smith, George Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social policy & social work ; Education ; Evaluation of social policies, programmes and practice ; New Public Management ; education decentralization ; school accountability