In the present work, we fill a gap in the writing on the decentralization of educational governance by periodizing and comparing trends that have fallen under this label in both the United States and developing countries in the post-WWII period (1945-present). The findings are informed by a review of 127 decentralization-related studies from seven leading, peer-reviewed journals in comparative and international education, in addition to the Journal of Education Policy, Journal of Educational Administration, and Harvard Education Review. We combine this review with works that address larger political and economic shifts. One key finding is that the application of communitylevel decentralization in developing countries has not been as widespread as global rhetoric during the 1990s and 2000s would imply. A second key finding is that there has been a relatively recent shift away from decentralization towards other forms of accountability-based reforms in both the United States and developing countries.
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