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Cash Cow, Civil Space or Cooptation: Private Schools in Urban China

An investigation into the dynamics of educational privatization against the background of globalizing but authoritarian China
Funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (2012-2015; Riksbankens Jubileumsfond P11-0390:1)

The project analyzes which hard and soft laws and ideologies regulate private education; what kind of actors form what types of alliances to promote and implement private education; and how private schooling is debated and legitimized in China by various actors.

It focuses, on the one hand, on the network of the Chinese Association for Non-Government Education and, on the other, on private schools in Beijing, Kunming and Zhejiang Province, which represent different social spaces and serve different parts of the emerging Chinese middle class. It is the aim to find out how a so-called "neo-liberal" development becomes grounded in an illiberal context; and whether the opening-up of education to private entrepreneurs leads to the emergence of new, partly autonomous social spaces, or whether the co-optation of the rising middle-class by those in power results in an even subtler regulation of Chinese society.



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