Human Rights and Human Capital Discourse in National Education Reforms, 1960–2018

This is a new academic publication authored by Minju Choi (PACS PhD fellow, member of the Global Civil Society and Sustainable Development lab/World Education Reform Database research group). Using WERD data, the publication studies two dominant rationales that national governments use to justify their intent to improve education through reform: human rights and human capital. Human rights discourse emphasizes a legal and moral right to education, whereas human capital discourse stresses the instrumental role of education in enhancing individual and national economic productivity. The publication demonstrates that despite seemingly contradictory visions for education, they are not as contradictory as perceived.