Negotiation and Officialisation

How commissions and task forces contribute to adult education policy in Italy and Denmark




Adult education, Adult learning, Education policy, Commission, Task force, Italy, Denmark


In this article we examine and contrast how the work of commissions and task forces, assembled to negotiate consensus on important policy issues, contributed to reforms affecting adult education in Italy and Denmark over the period 2000-2016. First, we conceptualise the work of commissions and task forces as a key, yet underexplored, element in national policy reforms, then outline the methodology employed. Following is our comparative analysis. Our discussion highlights that commissions and task forces have been an important element in both countries, and at least three dimensions help explain their country-specific functions: 1) the type of the national political system; 2) its ideological strength over time; and, 3) the nature of its relation to the European Union (EU). We suggest that these dimensions should be adequately considered in further studies.


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Author Biographies

Marcella Milana, University of Verona

Marcella Milana is Associate Professor in Education at the Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona, Italy, where she directs the International Research Centre for Global and Comparative Policy Studies on the Education and Learning of Adults. She specialises in and researches adult education policy from international, comparative and global perspectives, and has been writing about the politics of adult education in a globalized world, the conditioning effects of inter-states and international organizations on national policy and local practices, among other subjects. She is joint Editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education.

Palle Rasmussen, Aalborg University

Palle Rasmussen is Professor of Education and Learning Research in the Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, where he directs the Centre for Education Policy and Evaluation Research. His research areas include education policy, lifelong learning and evaluation methodology and he has published extensively in these fields. He is a member of the Danish National Research Council for Communication and Culture and also a member of the scientific board of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).


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How to Cite

Milana, M., & Rasmussen, P. (2018). Negotiation and Officialisation: How commissions and task forces contribute to adult education policy in Italy and Denmark. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 9(2), 211–227.