Skolan som demokratiprojekt : En poststrukturell diskursanalys av demokratiuppdrag och lärarsubjekt

Sammanfattning: Based on a poststructural discourse-theoretical perspective, the aim of this thesis is to critically examine the construction of the Swedish compulsory school’s democratic education and its consequences for the teacher subject, in educational policy texts. Set against the backdrop of what is commonly referred to as a crisis of democracy, the study takes its point of departure in changes in educational politics in recent decades and the new national curriculum for the compulsory school in 2011.The thesis uses the poststructural discourse-theory of the political philosophers Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe as its theoretical and methodological framework. Their main objective has been to revive socialist politics by suggesting a radical, plural democracy as an alternative for a new left.A number of national policy texts were chosen for the analysis. The selection covers official reports and government bills on the Education Act and on the Teacher Education Reform Act, the Education Act, the National Curriculum and a selection of documents from the Swedish National Agency for Education, ranging from 2008 to 2018.The main results show that democratic education rests on a notion of the democratic society which creates relations between a democratic universalism based on individual rights and an unspoken national homogeneity. Democratic education is constructed as a broad and complex task aiming at the fostering of democratic competence, assuring equivalent education and counteracting abusive behaviour. The impact of neoliberal policy and new public management philosophy is evident in the empirical material analysed.The study concludes that democratic education is constructed as part of a management perspective where democracy becomes the means of achieving a goal – the governed subject – which relates to pupils and teachers alike. In addition, the focus on consensus and rational thinking as well as the tendency to locate conflict resolution in the legal sphere contribute to the notion of a school free from abuse.