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European Union and Greek lifelong learning policy within an intercultural context: preliminary insights from research in the Sociology of Law

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This paper presents preliminary findings of an extensive socio-legal research project, currently in progress, concerning the implementation of the European Union and the Greek institutional framework on lifelong learning (LLL) and exploring the social effectiveness of LLL policy. The main outcomes, based on testing two research hypotheses through quantitative and qualitative content analysis, are presented. Firstly, there are significant differences in the ranking of four LLL objectives (employability/adaptability takes priority over social inclusion, personal fulfilment and active citizenship) as between legal documents of different origin (EU or national) and binding force (hard or soft law). Secondly, the key role of the global recession of 2008 in reinforcing the economic dimension of EU policy in the field is revealed. These data, considered from a socio-legal perspective, provide a basis for further discussion regarding national alignment to the EU’s LLL policy and argue for new ‘policy syntheses’ informed by the views of social actors concerned with policy implementation, in line with a broad humanistic notion of LLL.

Keywords: European Union; educational goals; lifelong learning policy; socio-legal perspective; soft law

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication date: May 4, 2014

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