This chapter provides an approach in terms of public policy regimes in education and lifelong learning (LLL) that is capable of taking account of societal dynamics. It applies this approach to the transformations that have occurred in several national systems that are emblematic of European diversity in education and LLL. In 2000, the strategy adopted by the European Council in Lisbon for the building of the knowledge society made LLL a key instrument of economic competitiveness combining innovation and social cohesion. Each LLL regime is identified on the basis mainly of the principles of justice informing the institutions responsible for its regulation. These ideal types are reconstructions of social and political trajectories in the area of LLL; they provide a schematic description of reality that makes it possible to move beyond the tension between the diversity of particular historical occurrences and the general nature of these national evolutions.