Political Economy of Adult Learning Systems

Political Economy of Adult Learning Systems: Comparative Study of Strategies, Policies and Constraints

by Richard Desjardins

Richard Desjardins is Associate Professor of Political Economy of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. He previously worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Directorate for Education between 2010-2013 on the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and the Skills Strategy, and was Associate Professor in Comparative Social Science at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is joint-editor of the European Journal of Education. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-7364-0 (hardback)

    978-1-4742-7365-7 (epdf)

    978-1-4742-7366-4 (epub)

    978-1-4742-7367-1 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Political Economy of Adult Learning Systems
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Based on comparative adult education statistics offered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) and country case studies, this book analyses the policies and structures that foster adult learning. It examines a variety of forms of adult learning, ranging from initial forms of post-compulsory education, such as upper secondary tracks and tertiary education, to firm training, compensatory adult education and learning for civic and leisure oriented purposes.

Throughout the book, adult learning systems are directly linked to a variety of structural and public policy frameworks using a comparative welfare state approach. Themes such as pathways to learning and transition systems, participation patterns in higher education and participation patterns in other organized forms of adult learning are covered. The countries discussed are the UK, the USA, Korea, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.

Situated at the intersection between scholarship and policy and using a mixed-methods approach, this title contributes fundamental insights into the further study of policies and structures related to alternative post-compulsory learning pathways.