Drawing on insights from philosophy and theology, we explore the relationship between religion, data and global education policy through an analysis of the career of Sir Michael Barber, widely regarded as an authority on the reform of public services and an influential policy entrepreneur. The analysis provides a novel perspective which illuminates how secularised salvation narratives and apocalyptic symbolism have become more prominent in his work as he rose to become a global actor. The story is entwined with the turn towards New Public Management (NPM) in education, the rise of international large-scale assessments (ILSAs), and the transition from speculative faith to salvation through the ‘science of delivery’. We follow Barber's role in formalising the faith as a secular political theology, and promoting it globally through Delivery Units and the management doctrine of Deliverlogy®. The analysis closes by reflecting on the practical implications of the movment, which is now woven into the institutional ideologies and reform strategies of major international organisations, agencies and corporations as part of a wider shift towards New Global Management (NGM) in global education governance. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).
CitationAuld, E., & Morris, P. (2023). Global Salvation Inc.: Sir Michael Barber’s education for the apocalypse and the church of Deliverology®. Comparative Education. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2023.2241006
- New Global Management
- Michael Barber
- Delivery Units
- Apocalyptic turn