The financing of Swedish popular education, 1872–1991: economic governance,standards and practices between the public and voluntary sectors

The financing of Swedish popular education, 1872–1991: economic governance,standards and practices between the public and voluntary sectors

Swedish popular education has often been characterized as an independent, “free and voluntary” sphere. Even so, it has throughout most of its history been largely dependent on financial resources from the public sphere: the state, the county councils and the municipalities. There has been a lively discussion about the paradoxical relationships between adult education and the state; freedom on the one side, dependency on the other. Still, few studies have analyzed the purely financial side of this problem. This project analyses the financial contributions from the state (and to some extent the local governments) to non-public adult education – folk high schools, public lectures and study circles from the mid 19th century to our own time. What were the rules and conditions for public funding? How large were the actual contributions, and how did they change over time? What impact did they have? How should the funding system be considered in a broader perspective, e.g. in relation to other areas of public expenditure (education and/or culture)?

Collaborators: Samuel Edquist (director), Anne Berg
Department of Education, Uppsala University
Funding Body: Handelsbanken research council

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