• Mia Knudsen
4. semester, Politik og Administration, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In this master thesis, the role of the danish Ministry of Education in shaping the policy on primary and lower secondary school (folkeskole) is examined. The primary thesis in this master thesis, is that this government body, like most others in the modern danish state administration, is politizied, that is a proactive agent shaping the policy in its field, here the public primary and lower secondary school. The leading question posed is therefore if the Ministry of Education takes part in shaping the policy on the folkeskole?

In the first part of the thesis (Del 1) the general regulation of the folkeskole is examined. First the development of the general philosophy of regulation in the public sector, as a whole, from the 1970’s and until now is examined. Here we see that the total relationship between the layers in the public sector has changed. Focusing especially on the relationship between politics and administration, we see that the strict boarders between these two are eroding. The role of the administration has changed since the 50’s. This general understanding will later help us in the understanding of the role of administration in policyproduction today as opposed to yesterday.
Hereafter the policy on the folkeskole and the development herein since the 1970’s is examined. Besides the obvious change in focus on different facets of school of the different decades, we see that the folkeskole is run in more detail now that just a decade ago. The policy is more focused on the teachings, and the regulation can be described as more process oriented, or as a strengthening of both the input, such as a national canon of literary works to be worked with, and the output, such as intermediate goals for the teaching.

In the second part of the thesis (Del 2) the Ministry of Education is examined, with the help of danish historian and political scientist Tim Knudsen. We focus on the main traits of the development in the history of this 163 year old organization, in the light of the two ideal types The Bureaucracy as advanced first by Max Weber, and The Project Administration, as the modern type of organization. The thesis is that the central administration has moved away from the ideal of the neutral and purely administrative Bureaucracy, and towards the modern administration, which has more room for taking care of jobs in the political realm, like preparing for and shaping policy. Indeed the history of the Ministry of Education shows us that the organization has changed as to allow for the delegation of jobs and responsibility to lower levels and thereby leaving room for assisting the minister and taking care of policy.

Whether the Ministry actually does shape the policy remains an open, empirical question, but we must ask ourselves if we can tolerate a public administration where the only thing standing in the way of shaping policy is the ethos of the administration itself…
Udgivelsesdato17 jan. 2011
Antal sider73
ID: 49053363