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Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the Executive Committee of CESE and the Local Organising Committee, I would like to welcome you warmly to the historic city of Thessaloniki and to our XXIX CESE Conference. We are very happy that the School of Primary Education of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) is hosting a CESE Conference for the first time.

The AUTh is a highly internationalised university. It is a member of 67 international educational organisations, unions and Universities’ networks as well as 15 student associations, which all aim at international academic synergies for the promotion and development of research. This internationalisation strategy makes the AUTh and the School of Primary Education a very appropriate setting for a CESE Conference.

I am very proud and extremely grateful to the Dean of the Faculty of Pedagogy, to the Head of the School of Primary Education as well as to the President and the Executive Committee of the Society for trusting us with the task of hosting and (co-)organising its XXIX Conference and General Assembly.

As a palimpsest of cultures, geopolitics, aesthetics and disputed meanings, Greece and the city of Thessaloniki are fascinating locations for studying and problematising education comparatively. When the Executive Committee of CESE met in Nicosia in the spring of 2023 to discuss possible themes for our 2024 conference, we were convinced that we live in an era of dynamic changes that are accompanied by various possibilities and potentials. We were also convinced that control is an analytically powerful concept to explore these changes. Finally, we believed that comparative education is well situated to examine the transformation of control in education across time and space, taking into account the emergence of new challenges in this field such as the digitalisation of educational processes.

It was within the context of this thinking that we came up with the theme of our XXIX Conference: “Changing regimes of control in education: comparative perspectives across time and space”. In this frame, we hope that our Conference will be intellectually stimulating and exciting, creating a platform for understanding our current problems and challenges and considering the potential of education to address them. As always, the programme of the Conference provides ample space to debate these issues. Our conference structure comprising plenary lectures, working groups, thematically-focused panels and cross-thematic sessions is aimed at providing a stimulating set of contexts for in-depth discussion, academic networking and the development of enriching new friendships.

We look forward to welcoming you in Thessaloniki!

Dr. Aristotelis Zmas

Chair of the Local Organising Committee and Secretary-Treasurer of CESE

Dear comparativists,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to one of the most fascinating cities and one of the most historic universities in Southeast Europe, at a time of shifting and perhaps increased control in education!

As President of CESE, I wish to thank our colleagues in the School of Education, Department of Primary Education for their excitement and energy in taking up the challenge of creating a context where scholars and practitioners from across Europe and the world can come together to discuss issues of common concern. I wish to express particular gratitude to our local organizer and CESE Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Aristoteli Zma. His enthusiasm has been central to planning what I am sure will be a highly rewarding week of academic and social engagements.

CESE is a well-established society charged with furthering the study of education in a comparative perspective. Of course, as all scholars know, the academic world is awash with opportunities to present one’s work, meet new people and to be visible. A CESE conference provides those same possibilities as well as much more. Over 50 years and 28 bi-annual conferences, we have developed and maintained a unique structure centered around a series of working groups: a form of extended seminar where scholars engage with each other as peers, discussing, challenging and refining arguments and perspectives. The sessions of the working groups unfold over many days and often lead to much longer-term dialogues.

CESE is also aware that academic culture is on the move. Not everyone can engage on such terms and not everyone considers themselves to be comparativists by primary academic identity. As such, we also offer a set of thematically-focused panels where educationalists of all types – including comparativists – can present their work in ways that unfold our conference theme further. We also have dedicated space in our program – the cross-thematic sessions - for other outstanding papers that speak to the conference theme but which we arrange into sessions where additional synergies can be made.

On top of these structural features, the Conference has a range of keynote speakers charged with the task of presenting their work but in ways that probe the conference theme and force us into dialogue about its multiple potentials. All in a relatively intimate setting where authentic and substantial dialogue is at the core of the conference experience.

All these features of CESE conferences reflect our commitment to scholarship, enquiry and deep engagement as well as an explicit invitation to develop your ideas and create meaningful relations. We are glad to welcome you to Greece, to CESE 2024 and to our intellectual community!

On behalf of the Executive Committee,

Dr. Eleftherios Klerides 

CESE President 

University of Cyprus