Judit Novak (b.1985) 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 law, 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.
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 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.
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.
Review in Swedish by Håkan Gustafsson, Professor of Law, Karlstad University, Sweden. Published in Svensk Juristtidning, vol 10, 2018: 919-929.
2019 Exzellenzstipendium. Research award to foreign excellent young researchers, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria.
2016 Selggrens stipendium. PhD student award, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Research grants since completion of PhD
2018 World-Class Universities: A Contested Concept. Research initiation/planning grant, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) [The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences] Project no. F18-1315:1 (250.000 SEK). Role: Project manager.
2018 Juridification in Higher Education. Research initiation/ planning grant, Letterstedts Foundation (80.000 SEK). Role: Project manager.
International mobility (lasting a minimum of three months)
Oct 2017-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)
Since 2019 Member of the Steering Committee for The Institute for Educational Law [Institutet för Utbildningsrätt], Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2017-2018 Member of the Advisory Board for research journals under Swedish Educational Research Association (SWERA).
2017 Member of the evaluation team for the PhD program at the Faculty of Educational Science at the Uppsala University, Sweden.
2017 Delegate and elected representative for the humanities and social sciences in the Uno versity’s reprsentative assembly [hörandeförsamling] for the election of vice chancellor of Uppsala University, Sweden.
2017 Delegate and elected representative in the recruitment committee [valberedning] for the election of department head at the Department of Education, 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.