Over significant periods of time changes have occurred, working through different institutional arrangements, without necessarily feeling the constraints or controls of the systems in which the reformers moved. The exploration of the five case studies reported here was an attempt to observe the ways in which different national systems of education responded to pleas for a reform of the mathematics curriculum, pleas in large part inspired by the activities of the Bourbakists. In parallel with and related to the theoretical viewpoints of the sociologists there was a growing interest in the studies of History and Sociology as major disciplines. Curriculum study, which developed in parallel with the controversies surrounding New Maths, drew inspiration from a variety of disciplines. Some writers presented arguments for bringing politics back into the unravelling of events despite the theoretical strength of the prevailing sociological concerns.