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Journal Article

Adaptations to Global Changes: Strategic Evolutions of an Elite School, 1961–2011


Lillie,  Karen
Vermögen und soziale Ungleichheit, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Lillie, K. (2022). Adaptations to Global Changes: Strategic Evolutions of an Elite School, 1961–2011. History of Education, (published online January 7). doi:10.1080/0046760X.2021.2002433.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-CC06-B
This article explores elite international education in the late twentieth century through the case of the Leysin American School (LAS), an international boarding school in Switzerland. From LAS’s founding in 1961 to its re-branding in 2011, broader geopolitical and economic frameworks shifted from a period dominated by the Cold War to one informed by international capitalism, itself an evolution of American Cold War strategies. In parallel, the school, established for overseas Americans and oriented towards the needs of the American Cold War, was refashioned to link to the emerging global financial elite. It is argued that these adjustments to broader changes can be understood as an exercise in institutional adaptability within certain parameters. Such a finding offers critical insight into how elite schools strategically respond to globalising processes over time, in order to remain both solvent and relevant.