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“Transnational Circulation and Multilevel Governance of University Reform

Singapore, 28-30th June 2

Objectives and scientific relevance of the panel

 

This panel will discuss policy circulation through the lens of higher education reforms. Since the 1990-2000s and in the context of globalization, research on transnational policy transfer and circulation of policy models has become a very fertile field of study in public policy and public administration (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000; James and Lodge, 2003; Stone, 2004). This branch of policy science has quickly become an enthralling approach shaped by several theoretical concepts and notions which grasp different configurations of policy circulation such as policy transfer, policy learning, policy borrowing, policy lending, policy diffusion or policy convergence. These contributions question the circulation of models and policies in contexts of intensifying transnational networks of actors and increasing international policies. Many authors have shown that studying transnational circulation of models is considered necessary when analysing national public policy. Yet, systematic analyses, which unpack, discuss, or even contest this general assumption on the basis of in-depth empirical work is still needed. A relevant approach for this agenda is certainly to focus on different forms and levels of transnational circulation within a policy sector, in order to cross, cumulate, and discuss observations on related objects. In this perspective, higher education represents a very interesting case. On the one hand, theoretical reflections on policy circulation have been stimulating the research in education science, since university systems in Europe, Asia, Africa and America have been built historically as privileged areas of international intervention (Bleiklie and Henkel, 2005; Ball, 2012; Steiner-Khamsi and Waldow, 2012; Stromquist and Monkman, 2014). From the international point of view, higher education is also interesting because there is no sector-specific international organisation as a central forum for discussion, frame for rule making, or harmonising and standard setting. On the other hand, the sector is strongly anchored into national policy systems and cultures (cf. its functions of training national elites and high skilled manpower). In fact, one suggestion of this panel would be to shed light on the role of domestic dynamics in the success or even the failure of policy circulation. We will be interested in the role of domestic actors such as political elites, private stakeholders, academic and administrative staff as well as students influencing the evolution of the policy sector. Although transfer studies tend to underline the international dimension of policy-making, the example of higher education rather reaffirms the importance of domestic configurations in the negotiation of policies. By analysing the multilevel functioning of the sector, the aim is to clarify the blurry concept of “globalisation of higher education” through the methodological tools of policy analysis. This panel invites papers on the multiform and multilevel transnational circulation of policy models in the sector of higher education, which address the following questions (non exhaustive): Who are the transnational policy professionals in higher education? How do they network? How do policy models travel and how are they translated between the transnational, national and local levels?


Call for papers

Many authors have shown that studying transnational circulation of models is considered necessary when analysing national public policy. Yet, systematic analyses, which unpack, discuss, or even contest this general assumption on the basis of in-depth empirical work is still needed. A relevant approach for this agenda is certainly to focus on different forms and levels of transnational circulation within a policy sector, in order to cross, cumulate, and discuss observations on related objects. In this perspective, higher education represents a very interesting case. This panel invites papers on the multiform and multilevel transnational circulation of policy models in the sector of higher education, which address the following questions (non exhaustive): Who are the transnational policy professionals in higher education? How do they network? How do policy models travel and how are they translated between the transnational, national and local levels? Contributors to this panel might consider discussing one of the following theme separately, or focusing on their intertwining:

i) the role of international (governmental as well as non governmental) and regional political organizations in policy circulation seeking to harmonize the higher education systems;

ii) the transnational networks of actors which participate in policy-making, build social linkages during conferences and workshops and promote the circulation of good practices;

iii) the circulation of norms (cost-sharing), standards (quality assurance), instruments (new public management) and models (Bologna process) which promote international policies;

iv) the role of domestic dynamics in the success or even the failure of policy circulation. We will be interested in the role of domestic actors such as political elites, private stakeholders, academic and administrative staff as well as students influencing the evolution of the policy sector.

Contributors to this panel can propose comparative case studies or monographic analyses on Europe, Asia, America and Africa.

 
Please  send your proposition (300-500 words) until 15th January 2017 with the ICPP website: http://www.ippapublicpolicy.org/conference/icpp-3-singapore-2017/panel-list/7

 
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