A quantitative approach to the right to education: concept, measurement, and effects

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This dissertation attempts to quantify the right to education, while doing justice to its legal character. To do so, a right to education index was developed, measuring the extent to which a country's education legislation is in line with the minimum core obligations of the right to education. Using this index, a novel dataset was created of 45 states in Sub-Sahara Africa and Latina America for the period 1990-2018. We found that no country managed to fully protect the right to primary education. This discovery is an important qualification to the general success story of educational development, as the lack of legal protection makes such advancements vulnerable to sudden shocks – such as COVID-19.
The second part of the dissertation tests the relationship between law and outcomes. The right to education index was found to be positively related to primary enrollment and completion rates, albeit only after a delay of seven to nine years.
The thesis concludes that what matters is in measurement is how the different trade-offs inherent to quantification are resolved. It is questionable if this process does not take away too much of what is valuable and effective about the right.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Coomans, Fons, Supervisor
  • Nimeh, Zina, Co-Supervisor
  • Arosemena Solorzano, Gustavo, Co-Supervisor
  • Thomsson, Kaj, Co-Supervisor
Award date28 Jun 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789493184947
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Education
  • human rights
  • measurement
  • right to education
  • quantification
  • index

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