Judit Novak

Associate Professor - Institutt for lærerutdanning
Image of Judit Novak
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +46 70 73 48 483
Room 511
Visiting address Moltke Moes vei 35 Niels Henrik Abels hus 0851 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1099 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Judit Novak is Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo. Her main research interests are in education governance and policy, with a special interest in the intermediary role of governments agencies and the adaptation of forms of supervision and auditing policies to (new) legislation in local, national, and international contexts. Her research contributions raise fundamental questions concerning welfare state governance and the links between juridification (the drift toward legalism) and education through the intermediary agencies situated between the state and educational institutions. Since 2019, she is an elected member of the Steering Committee for the Institute for Educational Law, Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Steering Committee for Educational Law, University of Oslo, Norway.


Novak earned her Ph.D. at Uppsala University in 2018 with a dissertation entitled Juridification of Educational Spheres: The Case of Swedish School Inspection. The dissertation brings together scholarly work on juridification and education — two strands of research that have evolved in largely separate academic disciplines and rarely communicate with one another. Against this backdrop, Novak details the growth of a “legalized accountability” in the area of compulsory and upper-secondary schooling. The findings challenge conventional understandings of how government agencies and professionals in schools respond to and absorb new legal norms. In particular, they illuminated the importance of examining whether and when legalized accountability is an “effective” framework for realizing the promises of the rights revolution, and when its institutional mechanisms can be coopted for the opposite purpose. The findings bolster the argument that the contemporary thrust of juridification can be regarded as a different form of state building, in which intermediary agencies such as schools inspectorates play a crucial role in education policy development. 

The dissertation is published in softcover and e-book formats. Links: abstract and e-book.

Book review in English by Guy Neave, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies, Portugal. Published in Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, 23(5): 288-295. 

Book review in Swedish by Håkan Gustafsson, Professor of Law, Karlstad University, Sweden. Published in Svensk Juristtidning, vol 10, 2018: 919-929. 


Ph.D supervision

  • Co-supervisor of a dissertation in progress at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo: Silje Kristin GloppenPractices for Teacher Evaluation in Norway – Tensions Between Different Forms of Accountability. To be defended in 2022. 


2019 Exzellenzstipendium. Research award to foreign excellent young researchers, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria.

2016 Selggrens stipendium. PhD student award, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Research projects

2021 Utbildningsmiljö och utbildningsrätt: från förskola till forskarexamen [Educational Environment and Educational Law: From Preschool to Higher Education]. Research initiation grant. Funding body: The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, No. F21-0019. Role: Principal investigator.

2021–2025  Evaluation of the new curriculum reform (EDUCATE). Researcher project. Funding body: The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. Role: Researcher. (Principal investigators: Lisbeth M. Brevik & Greta Björk Gudmundsdottir.)

2019–2024 Professional Actors' Work on Retaining Students in Secondary Education (ProAct). Researcher project, The Research Council of Norway, FINNUT. No. 303422. Role: Project member. (Principal investigator: Guri Skedsmo)

2018 World-Class Universities: A Contested Concept. Research initiation grant, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond [The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences] Project no. F18-1315:1. Role: Principal investigator.

2018 Juridification in Higher Education. Research initiation grant, Letterstedts Foundation. Role: Principal investigator.

International mobility

Oct–Dec 2017 Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Waikato University, New Zealand. 

Year 2015/2016 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Commissions of trust (selection)

2019–Present   Member of the editorial board for the research journal Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (EAEA).

2019–Present   Member of the board of directors for the Institute for Educational Law [Institutet för Utbildningsrätt] at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

2019–Present   Member of the board for a cross-disciplinary project aimed at the establishment of Educational law, at the Faculty of Educational Sciences in collaboration with the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, Norway.

2017–2018   Member of the national advisory board for the Swedish Educational Research Association’s (SWERA) research journals [SWERA Tidskriftsråd].

2017   Delegate and elected representative for the humanities and social sciences in Uppsala University’s representative assembly [hörandeförsamling] for the election of the vice-chancellor of Uppsala University, Sweden.

2015–2017   Member of the board of directors for the Swedish Educational Research Association’s (SWERA’s) Ph.D. Student Council Committee.

2014–2015   Vice President of the Ph.D. Student Council, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Tags: Governance, Education Law, Policy analysis, Curriculum studies, Marketization of Education.


  • Prøitz, Tine Sophie; Novak, Judit & Mausethagen, Sølvi (2022). Representations of student performance data in local education policy. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability. ISSN 1874-8597. 34, p. 89–111. doi: 10.1007/s11092-022-09379-x. Full text in Research Archive
  • Segerholm, Christina; Lindgren, Joakim & Novak, Judit (2021). Evidence-Based Governing? Educational Research in the Service of the Swedish Schools Inspectorate. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. ISSN 0031-3831. doi: 10.1080/00313831.2021.1897882. Full text in Research Archive
  • Nihlfors, Elisabet & Novak, Judit (2020). Institutet för utbildningsrätt och dess föreståndare. In Eklund, Hans; Lerwall, Lotta & Lind, Anna-Sara (Ed.), Vänbok till Sverker Scheutz: om rätt och att undervisa rätt. Iustus förlag. ISSN 9789177371106. p. 511–514.
  • Novak, Judit & Gustafsson, Håkan (2020). God utbildning i lagens namn? In Fejes, Andreas & Dahlstedt, Magnus (Ed.), Perspektiv på skolans problem - vad säger forskningen? . Studentlitteratur AB. ISSN 9789144133898. p. 237–251.
  • Novak, Judit (2020). On Realizing the World-Class University: Litigation and the State. In Rider, Sharon; Peters, Michael A.; Hyvönen, Mats & Besley, Tina (Ed.), World Class Universities. A Contested Concept. Springer. ISSN 978-981-15-7598-3. p. 93–106. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-7598-3_7. Full text in Research Archive
  • Tibbitts, Felisa; Nygren, Thomas; Novak, Judit; Bentrovato, Denise; Wassermann, Johan & Anamika, . (2020). Insights from Students on Human Rights Education in India, South Africa, Sweden and the United States. In Zajda, Joseph (Eds.), Human Rights Education Globally. Springer Netherlands. ISSN 978-94-024-1913-9. p. 51–74. doi: 10.1007/978-94-024-1913-9_3.
  • Nygren, Thomas; Kronlid, David O.; Larsson, Esbjörn; Novak, Judit; Bentrovato, Denise & Wassermann, Johan [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2020). Global Citizenship Education for global citizenship? Students’ views on learning about, through, and for human rights, peace, and sustainable development in England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden. Journal of Social Science Education. ISSN 1611-9665. 19(4), p. 63–97. doi: 10.4119/jsse-3464. Full text in Research Archive
  • Novak, Judit (2019). Juridification of educational spheres: The case of Sweden. Educational Philosophy and Theory. ISSN 0013-1857. 51(12), p. 1262–1272. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2017.1401464.
  • Novak, Judit (2017). Juridification and Education . In Peters, Michael A. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Springer Science+Business Media B.V.. ISSN 978-981-287-587-7. p. 1200–1205. doi: 10.1007/978-981-287-588-4.
  • Novak, Judit & Carlbaum, Sara (2017). Juridification of Examination Systems: Extending State Level Authority through Regrading of National Tests. Journal of Education Policy. ISSN 0268-0939. 32(5), p. 673–693. doi: 10.1080/02680939.2017.1318454.
  • Novak, Judit (2016). Skolan och rättssäkerheten: vad har en elev rätt att kunna? In Gustavsson, Michael; Österman, Tove & Hållén, Elinor (Ed.), Vad ska en svensk kunna?: Utbildningens dilemma - intressenas spel . Daidalos. ISSN 9789171734747. p. 105–131.
  • Novak, Judit (2014). Anpassningarnas för(e)ställning: Om Skolinspektionens tillsyn som en scen för förändring. Utbildning och Demokrati. ISSN 1102-6472. 23(1), p. 127–144.
  • Carlbaum, Sara; Hult, Agneta; Lindgren, Joakim; Novak, Judit; Rönnberg, Linda & Segerholm, Christina (2014). Skolinspektion som styrning. Utbildning och Demokrati. ISSN 1102-6472. 23(1), p. 5–20.

View all works in Cristin

  • Hall, Jeffrey Brooks & Novak, Judit (2022). Current Policy Expectations on Norwegian School Leaders: State policy on the professional work of retaining students in secondary education.
  • Hall, Jeffrey Brooks & Novak, Judit (2021). Current Policy Expectations on Norwegian School Leaders: State policy and the professional work of retaining students in secondary education.
  • Haakestad, Hedda; Frøjd, Elise Koppang; Mausethagen, Sølvi & Novak, Judit (2019). Gir mer juss en mer rettferdig skole? [Internet]. Forskning.no.

View all works in Cristin

Published Apr. 11, 2019 8:56 AM - Last modified Feb. 21, 2022 8:52 AM