Politics of inclusive education policy-making: The case of Cyprus 4784 (excluding references)
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Inclusive education policies constitute the contemporary legislative response to the education of disabled children. They can be viewed as the antidote to the historical imperatives of special education thinking, which were responsible for the disparagement and exclusion of disabled children. However, despite the extolling rhetorical proclamations that enthuse this ecumenical legislative shift, inclusive education policies can be characterized as 'hybrid legislative documents', in the sense that they attempt to fuse antithetical discourses in inconspicuous, yet destructive ways. In order to understand inclusive education policies and their hybrid nature, we should place them within a socio-historical context and scrutinize the context-specific forces that impact on their formulation and implementation. Defining as a spatial and chronological context the island of Cyprus in the outset of the twenty-first century, the current paper aims to provide the socio-historical and political backcloth against which the hybrid and contentious nature of inclusive education policies emerge and are reified. In particular, it will explore the following questions: what have been the major legislative reforms regarding special education? What were the historical, political and cultural factors that accounted for these changes? What is the current situation in relation to integration and inclusion ordinary in schools in Cyprus?