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Team 3 - Education and knowledge in developing countries

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Team leader


Research themes

This team’s research covers inequalities in the capacity to access, own, and use school and academic knowledge. Research in this team focuses on three subjects:

Policies, strategies, and educational inequalities

Conditions in developing countries have changed dramatically in recent decades. Advances in education since the early 1990s have shifted the focus of discussions on inequality from access to education to access to knowledge. The quality of education has emerged as a fully-fledged research topic, although many problems persist regarding the quantitative development of education in developing countries. Issues related to educational inequality —which are central in an Education For All perspective— have become all the more important because of the foremost role given to education in fighting poverty. The expansion of opportunities for the highly educated and highly traIned underscores —by contrast— the risk of marginalization for those who leave the education system too early. There is still little research on these issues in developing countries. Beyond the origins and nature of educational inequalities, the team seeks to analyze the capacity of individuals and social groups to maintain or widen the gaps to their advantage, and the ability of governments to reduce inequalities.

Circulation of knowledge and the making of elites

Access to elite status on the basis of specific knowledge raises the question of inequality in ownership opportunities, social, economic and political control, and exploitation of knowledge. Elites hold capital that allows them to position themselves in specific areas of ownership and exploitation. This capital gives fractions of elites access to national and international centers of production and use of knowledge, and enables them to participate in —or even control— the circulation of socially valued knowledge. In this respect, academic and scientific elites offer a particularly illuminating angle for studying the socio-political uses of knowledge.

Production and use of scientific and technical knowledge

Because scientific knowledge is both a source and an object of policy-making, it determines societal choices and the direction of economic and social development. Relationships between knowledge produced by scientific institutions and the users of that knowledge are central to the political agenda and scientific development. The conditions in which knowledge is conveyed and the role of universities and other academic institutions that host researchers become factors that determine the social conditions in which innovations are appropriated and socialized . In addition, research policies and the implementation of scientific collaboration —at international level and between national actors— take on a special significance in development. Working on this theme focuses on the unfolding of scientific controversies, the implementation of local knowledge, and the relationships between science and society, science and democracy, and science and traditional knowledge.


Researchers, Academics, and Senior Research Officers

PhD Candidates

Junior researchers

Hosted researchers

Research associates

Team’s research fields

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