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SSRE Conference 2018

Call for papers

All contributions have to be submitted electronically through this page: Login and must meet the following conditions.


Education, Politics, and the State

Educational demands and expectations have dramatically changed since the 1990s due to the scientification of society and the internationalization of politics. Politics have reacted to these changes with a widespread expansion and reconstruction of educational systems and their control instruments. With the development of new governance concepts, the educational institutions were provided with more autonomy and new school administrators, university councils and other steering committees have been implemented. Parallel to this development, new instruments for controlling, evaluating and accountability were introduced. Educational standards and new curricula imply that the educational governance policies aimed not only to transform the institutional structures, but also the content and results thereof.

Educational reporting, educational monitoring as well as, initially, New Public Management, and, then, new governance also became points of orientation in the reconfiguration of the education system. Even though the state still remains the most important actor in the education sector, its roll has changed and private providers appear to have simultaneously gained in importance. In Switzerland, not only has the horizontal cooperation between the cantons been expanded, but also the federal government has been assigned regulatory competences under the banner of “educational space Switzerland”. Nevertheless, educational policies have increasingly oriented themselves on both national and cantonal levels towards international developments. Over the years, Switzerland has internationally opened itself in the educational field. The most obvious examples of this are its collaboration in the PISA studies or the implementation of the fundamental benchmarks of the Bologna declaration. These developments have not only significantly transformed the notion of educational federalism as a basic principle for educational organisation, but also the existing relationships between the cantons and municipalities.

The reform process of the last 25 years has systematized the relations between the individual components of the educational system, increased the permeability between the different educational pathways and thereby, amongst other things, heightened perception for the transitions within the educational system. All fields of the education system have been affected by fundamental reforms: preschool, primary school, small classes for children with special needs, vocational education and training, secondary school, the colleges and universities, and further education – to name just the most important ones. Yet opposition in the public has also developed against some of these different reforms, not least because of the national harmonization projects during the last few years.

Against this backdrop, the 2018 Congress of the Swiss Society for Educational Research and the Swiss Society for Teacher Training would like to critically analyse the relations between education and politics or, rather, between education and the state and enable people to present and discuss their research results from this subject area. The starting point for our thematic focus will be the increased awareness of educational issues in the public. Besides contributions on Switzerland, we also warmly welcome contributions on the developments in other nation-states and on the comparative analysis thereof.


Keynote speeches, symposia and other events will be organized according to three subject clusters:

  1. Firstly, general developments and fundamental questions concerning the relationships between education, politics and the state shall be analysed. These include questions, as for example: Has educational politics taken a neoliberal turn? Besides the state, what is the roll of the market in the educational sector? How have the rolls of private and state actors changed? What is the influence of international opening and globalization on the relationship between education and politics? What is the importance of science in the reconfiguration of the relationship between education and politics? Or, more generally speaking: How has educational politics changed in face of the far-reaching social and economic transformations and how do they influence educational systems and pedagogical practices in these systems?
  2. Secondly, specific fields of educational politics shall be focussed on, ranging from preschool to universities and from policies of inclusion to further education and training.
  3. Thirdly, the “instrumental” side of educational politics shall be brought to the fore, as for example the practices of education administration, the definition and change of selection processes, evaluation practices, accreditation procedures or the operating principles of supervising authorities, the cooperation of (professional) associations or the practices of school management and university councils – to name just a few.

Presentations and symposia can be dedicated to single topics or deal with a combination of subjects. Participants are able to focus on different, individual levels of political systems or discuss the multilevel governance of educational politics. Educational politics can be analysed on regional, national or international levels – or comparisons between these can also be discussed.  


Contributions With Another Thematic Focus

As usual, it is also possible to apply with a thematic focus that deviates from the previously mentioned three subject clusters and the main themes of the congress. Please identify these applications in this manner: 4, other thematic focus. The applications for these contributions will occur in the same manner as the others. If you desire to organize meetings for working groups and other such events and activities that are not subject to the standardized evaluation procedure, please contact the official congress organisation committee:



Applications for contributions can be in German, French, Italian or English. The presentations must be held in the declared language.


Possible Formats and Guidelines for the Submission

It is possible to submit proposals for four different formats:



A symposium lasts 90 minutes and includes a maximum of 3 presentations as well as a discussion. The contributions are not allowed to come from the same research project. Multilingual symposia are especially welcome. Each symposium must define a Chair.



Roundtables are in their organisational structure somewhat freer than symposia. They last 90 minutes. As a rule, more people actively participate in a roundtable than in a symposium (e.g. podium-like discussion). For this reason, the individual inputs are shorter. The focus is the interactive discussion (also with the audience) on a predefined topic. A chair is to be defined for every roundtable.


Individual Papers

Individual paper presentations last a total of 30 minutes. At least 10 minutes of this time should be reserved for the discussion. The organisation committee will group papers on similar subjects in a symposium and define a chair for each.



Posters must be printed in the size A0 (84.1 x 118.9 cm). Specific time slots will be defined for the authors to have the possibility to present their posters to an audience.  


Guidlelines for the Submission of Contributions

The participants can only take part as presenters in a specific framework (either symposium, roundtable, paper or poster). Exempt therefrom are additional functions (e.g. the function as chair or as a discussant). For symposia contributions, an abstract for each individual paper and poster must be submitted with a maximum of 500 words. Each symposium itself also requires an abstract of maximum 250 words. Submissions for roundtables should not exceed a total of 750 words. The applications require information on the participants, the theoretical framework, the research environment and the central questions that will be analysed and discussed. Empirical research should also include information concerning methodology and already existing results. Please also include 3 to 5 keywords in the abstract.

All contributions are to be submitted electronically through this link:


Deadline for the Submission of Contributions

15 January 2018



All submitted contributions will be evaluated by two experts. The criteria of the evaluation are: general quality of the contribution, relevance of the research question, logical consistency and methodical stringency, potential for innovation and, possibly, the quality of the collected data and results.

If necessary, the organization committee reserves the right to suggest another format for the contribution. If an entire symposium is rejected, it is nevertheless possible that individual papers will be accepted.


Applicants will be informed whether their contributions have been accepted or rejected by the review-process by the end of March 2018.

Weiterführende Informationen

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