Jürgen Schriewer (1942 - )

Schriewer Jürgen

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Jürgen Schriewer has been Professor and Head of the Comparative Education Centre at Humboldt University, Berlin, since 1991, perhaps the pre-eminent centre for comparative educational research in continental Europe. Once a student of Romance and German Philology, Philosophy and Education at the Universities of Bonn (Germany), Lille (France), and Würzburg (Germany), Schriewer earned his doctoral degree in 1972 with a thesis on twentieth-century university reforms in France. He was appointed Professor of Comparative Education at the University of Frankfurt in 1975 where he would stay until 1991, when, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was invited to help reconstruct Humboldt University, traditionally one of the foremost centres of learning in the Western world and arguably the model of the modern research university.

Throughout his career, he has held a number of key positions in the field of comparative education globally, including the Presidency of the Comparative Education Society in Europe (1992-1996), the Chair of the Standing Research Committee of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (1996-2002), and membership in the Editorial Board of Comparative Education. He has continuously served as an expert to Advisory Boards and Research Foundations, both in Germany and internationally, and continues to serve as an advisor and/or editor for major European, US, and Latin American journals specializing in comparative education and educational research more generally. These multiple affiliations reflect both his academic fluency in French, English, and Spanish (in addition to native German), as well as a long career of visiting positions at distinguished universities worldwide such as Université de Paris V-René Descartes, Stockholm University, Waseda University (Tokyo), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, and Universidad de San Andrés (Buenos Aires) among others.

Schriewer's contributions to the field of comparative education are multiple and complex, but perhaps revolve around a vision of comparative education as a highly academic, theoretically robust, and historically focused endeavour. His main areas of research include (i) the comparative-historical study of education, including Education as an academic discipline; (ii) the theory of comparative enquiry in education and the social sciences, analyzed less in terms of methodological prescription, but from the vantage point of the history of science and the sociology of knowledge; (iii) the virtually dialectical intertwining of an emerging world-culture and culture-specific structural elaboration and re-diversification processes (approximating 'globalization'). Along these lines, he offers a vision of the field as an heir to and elaborator of the legacy of the great social theorists of the European tradition who worked theoretically, conceptually, and methodologically in similar ways (Durkheim, Weber, Eisenstadt, and Luhmann among others).

As such, he has worked to bridge theory and method in comparative education, to reconcile historical reconstructions of education with comparative analyses, and to empirically elaborate the ways in which contextual specificities modify, translate, and interpenetrate with 'external' phenomena, providing a clear, coherent program for comparative educational research, past and present. In recent years, this has taken the form of large comparative projects carried out by coordinating a core group of young scholars working on Western Europe, Latin America, and South and East Asia, respectively, to examine the ways in which seemingly unitary educational phenomena are understood, translated, and refashioned in accordance with the particular 'socio-logic' of recipient contexts, despite the façade of homogeneity and standardization.

This approach has brought Schriewer into direct conversation with the flourishing neo-institutionalist (World Culture) theoretical perspective pioneered by John W. Meyer and Francisco O. Ramirez. For more than a decade now, Schriewer has provided - in line with his vision of comparative education sketched above - a counter-weight of sorts to the neo-institutionalist vision of trans-national flows leading to increased homogeneity founded on shared norms and values. Instead, his work shows that global 'imports' are received in highly specific, often unexpected ways; always refracted by specific historical, cultural, political, and intellectual configurations. The result is not a smooth world of shared meaning, but the persistence of 'multiple worlds' and thus a fascinating puzzle and research program that returns the field to its contextual, historical, and academic roots: a major contribution in and of itself, as comparative education globally constantly moves closer to mere 'policy relevance' and thus increasingly lacks a vision of what it once meant and should still mean to 'do' comparative education.

In consideration of his research achievements and publications (translated into multiple languages), Schriewer was awarded outstanding international academic distinctions, such as the Japanese Research Award by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2000) and the Tenth Swedish Research Award of The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (2001).

Educational Background

Dr. phil. (PhD), Würzburg University (Thesis on "Die Französischen Universitäten 1945 - 1968")

State examination, Universities of Bonn, Lille (France), and Würzburg in the fields of Romance and German Philology, Philosophy, and Education.

Professional Background

Professor of Comparative Education and Head of the Comparative Education Centre, Humboldt University, Berlin, October 1991 - present.

Dean, Faculty of Education, Humboldt University, 1993-1994.

Professor of Comparative Education, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 1975-1991.

Senior Research Fellow, Würzburg University, 1973-1975.

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

President, Comparative Education Society in Europe, 1992-1996.

Comparative Education, Member of the Editorial Board, 2005-

COMPARATIV. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und Vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung [COMPARATIVE. Journal for Global History and Comparative Social Enquiry], member of the Scientific Advisory Board, 2004-present.

Comparative Education Review, member of the Advisory Board, 1992-1998 and 2003-2008.

Revue Française de Pédagogie [French Review of Educational Studies], member of the Editorial Board, 1992-present.

Selected Publications

Schriewer, J. with R. Bruno-Jofré (Eds.) (2011). The Global Reception of John Dewey's Thought: Multiple refractions through time and space. New York & London: Routledge - forthcoming.

Schriewer, J. with H. Kaelble (Eds.) (2010). La comparación en las ciencias sociales e históricas. Un debate interdisciplinar. Barcelona & México: Octaedro.

Schriewer, J. (2009). Remodelling Social Order through the Conquest of Public Space: Myths, Ceremonies and Visual Representations in Revolutionary Societies. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag.

Schriewer, J. (2009). "'Rationalized Myths' in European Higher Education: The Con¬struction and Diffusion of the Bologna Model", European Education 41(2): 31-51.

Schriewer, J., (2007). "Reference Societies and Model Constructions: Questioning International Policy Studies", in: J.-J. Hesse, J.-E. Lane & Y. Nishikawa (Eds.). The Public Sector in Transition. East Asia and the European Union Compared. (pp. 85-102). Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Schriewer, J. (ed.) (2006). Comparative Methodologies in the Social Sciences - Cross-Disciplinary Inspirations, Comparative Education, Special Issue no. 32, August 2006). London etc.: Routledge.

Schriewer, J. (2006). "Comparative social science: characteristic problems and changing problem solutions", in: J. Schriewer (Ed.). Comparative Methodologies in the Social Sciences - Cross-Disciplinary Inspirations, Comparative Education, special issue no. 32, August 2006) (pp. 299-336). London etc.: Routledge.

Schriewer, J. (2004). "Multiple Internationalities: The Emergence of a World-Level Ideology and the Persistence of Idiosyncratic World-Views", in: J. Schriewer with Ch. Charle & P. Wagner (Eds.). Transnational Intellectual Networks. Forms of Academic Knowledge and the Search for Cultural Identities (pp. 473-533). Frankfurt am Main & New York: Campus. Spanish edition Barcelona & Mexico City: Pomares (2006).

Schriewer, J. & Martinez, C. (2004). "Constructions of Internationality in Education", in: G. Steiner-Khamsi (Ed.) The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending (pp. 29-53). New York: Teachers College Press.

Schriewer, J. (2000). "World System and Interrelationship Networks: The Internationalization of Education and the Role of Comparative Inquiry", in: Th. S. Popkewitz (Ed.). Educational Knowledge. Changing Relationships between the State, Civil Society, and the Educational Community (pp. 305-343). Albany: State University of New York Press. Translations into Spanish (1996), Portuguese (1996), and French (1997).

Schriewer, J. (2000). "Educational Studies in Europe", in: J. Schriewer with E. S. Swing & F. Orivel (Eds.). Problems and Prospects in European Education (pp. 72-95). Westport, CT & London: Praeger.

Schriewer, J. (Ed.) (2000). Discourse Formation in Comparative Education, 3rd revised edition 2009. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Editions in Spanish (2002), and Mandarin (2005).

Schriewer, J. with E. Keiner (1992). "Communication Patterns and Intellectual Traditions in Educational Sciences: France and Germany", in: Comparative Education Review 36 (1992), no.1, pp. 25-51.

Schriewer, J. with B. Holmes (Eds) (1988). Theories and Methods in Comparative Education, 3rd edition 1992. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Editions in Chinese (1993), Italian (1996), and Japanese (2000).


Created: 1/23/2011

Updated: 1/23/2011

Contributed By: Jeremy Rappleye, University of Tokyo