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Urban Development, Governance and Education: The Implementation of an Area-based Development Initiative in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2011 (English)In: Urban Studies, ISSN 0042-0980, E-ISSN 1360-063X, Vol. 48, no 13, 2849-2864 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A large, area-based metropolitan development initiative (MDI) was launched in Sweden in 1999 as part of a new metropolitan policy. The Swedish government and seven municipalities invested about 400 million Euros in 24 of the most deprived urban neighbourhoods in the Stockholm region, Gothenburg and Malmo. The overall aim was to promote integration and combat unemployment, low achievement in schools, poor health, criminality and low democratic participation. The idea of urban governance was highlighted as one of the distinguishing hallmarks of the policy. Elementary schools were, after various labour-market projects, the largest receivers of MDI funding. Drawing on empirical findings as well as on secondary literature, this article describes and analyses how local school stakeholders-most notably heads of local education departments, principals and teachers-implemented the MDI with particular focus on the policy's urban government principle. It is argued that local school stakeholders, as a well-organised group with strong professional identity, captured the idea of urban governance and manipulated it to fit their own particular interests. Some effects of this process include schools becoming further isolated from their local communities, students and parents becoming further isolated from the decision-making processes within schools and money being spent on projects that are exclusively defined by the educators and the administrators, rather than by the communities they serve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 48, no 13, 2849-2864 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66506DOI: 10.1177/0042098010391302ISI: 000294812900009OAI: diva2:469871
authorCount :1Available from: 2011-12-27 Created: 2011-12-20 Last updated: 2011-12-27Bibliographically approved

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Bunar, Nihad
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