Democratising education policy making or legitimising discourse? An analysis of the new Lifelong Learning Law in the Basque Country


  • Carlos Vargas Tamez Università di Bologna



Policy Making, Democratization, Lifelong Learning, Adult Education, Learners’ Voice


This paper looks into the orientation and purposes of a Lifelong Learning Law that was sanctioned in the Basque Country in 2013, and whose formation process entailed a year-long consultation with different local stakeholders. Although the consideration of diverse agents - other than political players - in policy making is a very valuable element for the democratisation of public policy, grounded on examination of the Basque experience, the paper poses serious questions as to the extent to which non-state actors may take part in the policy and decision making processes, and underscores the differences in the scope and influence of their actions, perspectives and proposals. From a social construction framework, it is argued that the incorporation of experts to policy making belongs to a certain way of crafting policy, one that is top-down, while the idea of democratic policy making requires an inverse design; a bottom-up method that may enable the practitioners who implement programmes and strategies, and those receiving the educational services, to be co-participants and to share responsibility in the ideation and effectuation of education policy.


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How to Cite

Vargas Tamez, C. (2014). Democratising education policy making or legitimising discourse? An analysis of the new Lifelong Learning Law in the Basque Country. Encyclopaideia, 18(40).