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Diploma DemocracyThe Rise of Political Meritocracy$
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Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790631.001.0001

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Education as a Cleavage

Education as a Cleavage

(p.40) 4 Education as a Cleavage
Diploma Democracy

Mark Bovens

Anchrit Wille

Oxford University Press

Cleavage formation in the nineteenth and twentieth century was based on religion and class. To what extent can we observe an emerging social and political cleavage along educational lines across Europe in the twenty-first century? We use a broad notion of cleavage and look at educational patterns of segmentation, stratification, and segregation; differences in political preferences; and to what extent these educational differences are reflected in the political landscape. We construct an index of cleavage formation that aims to measure to what extent the various differences along educational lines are merging. The degree to which the contours of this new divide have been crystallized is stronger in western and northern countries than elsewhere in Europe. This analysis forms the basis of our selection of six West European countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, and the UK.

Keywords:   cleavage, education, segmentation, stratification, segregation, cosmopolitans, nationalists, social-liberal parties, nationalist parties

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