Professor E.G West

The E.G. West Centre is named after the late Professor Edwin George West, whose first publication Education and the State (1965), still remains one of the major works on the role of government in education of the twentieth century.  West re-examines the role of government in education and challenged the accepted wisdom that a state monopoly was the most efficient and effective way to finance and provide education in the form of schooling.  The questions which West raised and the solutions he recommended are now more relevant that ever and his work continues to influence academic scholarship and education policy in Britain and abroad.

An excellent introduction to E.G. West’s work can be found in Charles K. Rowley’s article, E.G. West: Champion of the Market for Education: An Appreciation of His Long Career (The Freeman, 2002, Vol: 52 Issue: 4).  In 2004, the Institute of Economic Affairs also published a collection of West’s articles edited by Tooley and Stanfield, titled Government Failure: E.G. West on Education (read a review).  Finally, in 2008, Continuum published E.G. West: Economic Liberalism and the Role of Government in Education by James Tooley as part of a major international reference series providing comprehensive accounts of the work of seminal educational thinkers.  This is the most comprehensive account of  E.G. West’s research and influence published to date.

See below for access to a selection of E.G. West’s articles, papers and reports, followed by a talk given by E.G. West in 1995, in which he critically examines the views of Thomas Paine and Adam Smith on eduction.  A more detailed critic of Adam Smith’s can be found in the following unpublsihed paper.


Chapters in publications

Articles and reports