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Globalisation and Europeanisation in Education
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Globalisation and Europeanisation in Education


2009 paperback 264 pages, £34.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-90-8

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About the book

This book grew out of the experience of a European Union Thematic Network of the same title, and focuses on aspects of the complex and varying relationships between globalisation, Europeanisation and Education.

The volume is divided into two parts:

PART 1: Governance and the Knowledge Economy, focuses on how the discourses of a Knowledge Economy and Lifelong Learning, and an emerging functional and scalar division of the labour of educational governance became central to the development of a European Education Space. Contributors emphasise the role of the European Commission, and especially the Lisbon agenda, in this process, and considers the role of the Open Method of Coordination and the Bologna Process in the construction of the EES. A key theme linking Europeanisation to globalisation is the prominence of the discourse of competitiveness, and the role allocated to education in enhancing Europe’s ability to compete with the United States and Japan.

PART TWO: Citizenship, Identity and Language, looks at the emergence of a new social model for Europe, this time from the point of view of how it relates the development of individual capacities and citizenship, and the role of intellectuals in this process. A second major theme is the place, role and choice of languages and at the impact of pressures from globalisation and Europeanisation, and national and sub-national levels, on language choice and teaching, taking into account both ‘World Englishes’ and Language Europe. Finally, globalisation becomes the central issue in an analysis of its different relationships with ‘northern’ (of which European education policy is taken as the example) and ‘southern’ paradigms of educational development.

Stephen Ronald Stoer 1943-2005
This book is dedicated to the memory of Steve Stoer, a key member of GENIE from its inception, and a model and much loved scholar, colleague and friend.


Contents [Please click on author name for summary]

Roger Dale. Introduction, 7-19

PART ONE. Governance and the Knowledge Economy, 20-21

ROGER DALE Contexts, Constraints and Resources in the Development of European Education Space and European Education Policy, 23-43

STEPHEN R. STOER, ANTÓNIO M. MAGALHÃES Education, Knowledge and the Network Society, 45-63

SUSAN ROBERTSON Europe, Competitiveness and Higher Education: an evolving project, 65-83

PALLE RASMUSSEN Lifelong Learning as Social Need and as Policy Discourse, 85-100

SUSAN ROBERTSON Unravelling the Politics of Public Private Partnerships in Education in Europe, 101-119

ROGER DALE Studying Globalisation and Europeanisation in Education: Lisbon, the Open Method of Coordination and beyond, 121-140

PART TWO. Citizenship, Identity and Language, 141-142

XAVIER BONAL, XAVIER RAMBLA ‘In the Name of Globalisation’: southern and northern paradigms of educational development, 143-157


JANET ENEVER Languages, Education and Europeanisation, 179-192

M'HAMMED SABOUR Globalisation and Europeanisation: unicentricity and polycentricity and the role of intellectuals, 193-213

KIRK SULLIVAN, JANET ENEVER What is Language Europe?, 215-231

ANTÓNIO M. MAGALHÃES, STEPHEN R. STOER Performance, Citizenship and the Knowledge Society: a new mandate for European Education Policy, 233-260

Roger Dale. Introduction

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PART ONE. Governance and the Knowledge Economy

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Contexts, Constraints and Resources in the Development of European Education Space and European Education Policy

This chapter suggests that globalisation and Europeanisation are to a degree co-constituting, with what is seen as globalisation emerging in part from the contests and competition between the members of the triad, a competition that also shapes them, their priorities and policies. The chapter also emphasises that the European project is not exclusively to be seen as an economic project, but that it has geopolitical elements, too. Another result of the changes in the global political economy and the particular constitution of the EU is that it has developed a peculiar form of governance. The central argument of the chapter is that these two sets of conditions act to frame the nature and possibilities of European education policy, with the European Education Space framed formally by the treaty, substantively by the Lisbon agenda, and historically by pre-200 EU education initiatives. The chapter argues that though European Education Space and European Education Policy overlap and interact, they may be seen as analytically distinct., with the former marking the areas that the latter may seek to fill. It closes with a discussion of the place of European education, which it insists cannot be taken as a scaled-up version of national policies.

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Education, Knowledge and the Network Society

The ‘development of individual capacities’, in addition to the education of ‘responsible citizens’ and the ‘preparation for work’, constitutes one of the most important objectives to be achieved by education systems and, in this sense, makes up one of the main planks of that which Dale terms ‘mandates for the education system’, i.e., projects for education based on ‘conceptions of what it is desirable and legitimate for the education system to bring about’. In a previous work, the authors tried to map out, on the basis of the objectives ‘preparation for work’ and ‘education of responsible citizens’, the outlines of a new mandate for European education policy that appears to be in the making in accord with recent socio-economic, political and educational developments. In this chapter, the authors centre their attention on the ‘development of individual capacities’ in an attempt to map out the effects of the simultaneous pressure, top-down and bottom-up, that has been increasingly brought to bear on the nation-state and on the education system. With regard to the first, it is argued that what is at stake is the transformation of knowledge itself into money (i.e., pure performance); while with regard to the second, there appears to be taking place a movement of knowledge from the school (national level) to the local community in which this latter is interpreted as the ‘educative city’ (where a ‘transparent’ communicational pedagogy holds sway). This work aims at challenging the dichotomy constructed by way of an analysis of the implications, for both pedagogy and the development of individual capacities, of the development and consolidation of a network state and society.

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Europe, Competitiveness and Higher Education: an evolving project

Europe’s approach to internationalising higher education is a multi-facetted set of political strategies which, over time, have become more complex as an array of European-level actors, most importantly the European Commission, have responded to pressures in the regional and global economy. This chapter examines a series of projects that have been unfolding over time and contributing to ‘making’ Europe and a European Education Space. The author focuses specific attention on the more recent activities that have resulting in Europe projecting itself outward into the global sphere through higher education reforms. This globalising European project, to build a competitive Europe and European Higher Education area, is also viewed as an imperialising project. This strategy begs questions as to its legitimacy. At the same time, it undermines Europe’s discourse about its distinctive social project.

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Lifelong Learning as Social Need and as Policy Discourse

Lifelong learning is a key concept in EU policy documents not only on education, but also on economic competitiveness and social cohesion. The discourse on lifelong learning has been strongly criticised by educational researchers, who document that it often reflects narrow notions of learning and neoliberal ideology. However, the concept of lifelong learning is basically sound and promising, because people in the contemporary world increasingly have and express needs to learn in order to handle the social transformations, opportunities and risks they experience. Drawing on Habermas’ conceptualisation of systemic and communicative processes in modern society this chapter discusses the social need for learning and its policy implications. The development of lifelong learning provision under the conditions of globalisation and Europeanisation is traced and serious limitations in the policies of EU and other international actors are pointed out. The concept of lifelong learning needs to reinterpreted in order to connect to the social need for learning.

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Unravelling the Politics of Public Private Partnerships in Education in Europe

Europe’s engagement with the education sector is shaped by the idea of subsidiarity; that is, that autonomy over public sector activities, such as education, should be located at the closest point to delivery. However, since 2000, and the adoption of the Lisbon agenda – to make Europe the most competitive, knowledge-based economy in the world – there has been considerable activity at the European scale in the area of compulsory education. One form this has taken is in the area of implementing new governance arrangements in the area of digital technologies and learning. This chapter explores the way in which Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) have emerged to enable to development. The author argues that this generates capacity for the European Commission, on the one hand, and provides a window for the entry of the private sector into education governance, on the other.

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Studying Globalisation and Europeanisation in Education: Lisbon, the Open Method of Coordination and beyond

This chapter begins by discussing the nature and implications of recent changes in the nature and place of education policy in a globalising world, through a discussion of the consequences of operating through existing tendencies towards methodological nationalism, statism and educationism, each of which it seeks to elaborate in the context of a growing European role in education. The main focus of the chapter is the relationship between the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) and the development of education related activities at the European level. It is suggested that its mediation through the OMC means that education policy will: take the form of policy paradigms (in Peter Hall’s sense); focus on programme ontologies rather than programmes; be ‘depoliticised’, though not ‘apolitical; and be directed at member states education systems rather than their education policies. The chapter concludes with speculation about the possible development of a distinct European education sector.

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PART TWO. Citizenship, Identity and Language

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‘In the Name of Globalisation’: southern and northern paradigms of educational development

This chapter compares the prevailing, official discourses on education and development in Latin America and the European Union. It highlights that in both cases the normative and explanatory frameworks have shifted from the national towards the global context. However, this initial shift was imposed in many Latin American countries (so that they paid back their debts in the 1980s), whereas it is a matter of harmonisation in Europe (since the Open Method of Coordination has been operating).

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Education, Equality and the European Social Model

Social welfare and education have been themes in European collaboration since the early days of the Treaty of Rome. Especially after the establishment in 2000 of the Lisbon agenda the EU has stepped up its efforts in these two areas and has integrated both of them in a strategy for growth and employment. The importance of education is often mentioned in EU documents on social welfare. However, European policies in the areas of welfare and education are marked by a fundamental tension between the pursuit of capitalist growth on one hand, the pursuit of social justice and equality on the other. This often leads to an impoverished conceptualisation of education as just another service to be delivered on the market. A more holistic approach to education policy is necessary, an approach which takes account of the broader conditions of equality and includes not only the economic, but also the political, cultural and affective dimensions of educational equality.

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Languages, Education and Europeanisation

Adopting a specifically European focus, this chapter reviews and accounts for the patterns of language shift and change in Europe as a defining feature in the formation of national states. Within an increasingly interconnected world today, the consequence of escalating economic migration and the virtual world of multimodal digital technologies, it is argued that the continuing shifts in the balance of economic and political power are precipitating a global trend in the re-shaping of educational policies in an attempt to equip future generations with the cultural capital preceived to be necessary. This chapter focuses on a European pattern of policy formation whereby currently English is seen as a near-essential tool of a flexible, mobile labour force.

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Globalisation and Europeanisation: unicentricity and polycentricity and the role of intellectuals

The European Union has enlarged in space, population, and cultural and linguistic diversity. Its integration has been strengthened on levels of law regulation, harmonisation of environment policy, standardisation of educational diplomas and accreditation, and establishment of single currency, among others. This integration has been seen by ‘europhile’ scholars and policymakers as a reinforcement of Europe identity in international fields of economy and technology. From their part eurosceptics criticize it because they see in it a threat to national identities, regional particularities and cultural diversities. However, it is the economic policy inspired by a neoliberalist philosophy which is perceived as weakening the role of the welfare state that has raised most scepticism and critique. This chapter analyses theoretically and thematically the process of europeanisation and its historical affinities with westernisation, when it is question of power division and relations among nations and cultures. In this ongoing process of ‘higher’ European integration there are implicit and explicit symbolic and political struggles for dominance and hegemony. The mainstream (core) large states like Germany, France and the United Kingdom, thanks to their economic might, cultural influence and technical prominence, try to impose their will and vision of integration on other member states, especially small and peripheral countries. The chapter seeks to describe the role of intellectuals in raising consciousness, awareness and vigilance in defending a polycentric perception of Europe against this politically unicentric, economically-driven and technically-inspired process of integration.

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What is Language Europe?

In Europe today the domain of education operates as a prime mechanism in laying the foundations of a plurilingual citizenry, equipped with the cultural capital now identified as a pre-requisite for engagement in an increasingly globalised world economy. This chapter reviews current language policy and trends relating to the sectors of tertiary and primary education in Europe. It reveals evidence of the difficulty in achieving the desired gains in quality set by Bologna and argues that quality goals are currently being undermined by the strong focus on perceived linguistic gains. In a critical examination of policy it is proposed that a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the notion of quality in language education is required if Europe is to have any possibility of meeting the goals of Bologna.

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Performance, Citizenship and the Knowledge Society: a new mandate for European Education Policy

This chapter maps out the debate concerning a new mandate for European education policy based on recent socio-economic, political and educational developments, seen from the perspective of educational researchers located on the European (semi)periphery. The first part of the chapter looks at the category ‘preparation for the labour market’, while the second part concerns itself with the category ‘citizenship’. With regard to the former, it is argued that a new mandate for European education policy finds itself inextricably linked to the new education mandate of the new middle class, in a setting of globalisation and, closer to home, European construction. The latter attempts to conceptualise the emergence of new forms of citizenship at a time when the modern social contract suffers a process of transformation (or, what we term, reconfiguration). Based on the distinction between ‘attributed citizenship’ and ‘demanded citizenship’, the authors analyse changes taking place in state regulation as well as explore some of their implications for schooling.

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This book is one outcome of the work of the EU Erasmus Thematic Network, GENIE – Globalisation and Europeanisation Network in Education. GENIE was formed in 2002 and ran formally until 2005, with 42 members, from 33 Universities, in 27 countries. The overall coordinator of GENIE was Susan Robertson, assisted by Roger Dale, both of whom are located in Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol.

The substantive work of GENIE took place over each of the academic years, by means of virtual forms of communication, an annual meeting, and regular steering group meetings. These annual meetings were brilliantly convened by Dr Helen Phitiaka in Nicosia, Cyprus (2003), Professor M’hammed Sabour in Joensuu, Finland (2004) and Professor Palle Rasmussen in Aalborg, Denmark (2005) respectively, whilst the GENIE Steering Group not only provided an anchor for the project, but has become a basis for further ongoing work. Professor Annie Vinokur, of the Universite de Paris X, Nanterre, was GENIE’s chosen evaluator. Annie provided critical, sympathetic and valuable feedback on the unfolding of its agenda and programme of work.

Pedagogical workshops and a Summer Institute, both involving doctoral students working in GENIE member institutions, were convened in Barcelona, Spain (January 2005) and Aalborg, Denmark (July 2005). These students were funded by their own institutions, augmenting the funding from the European Commission. GENIE’s work was based around six themes; Polycentric Globalisation: Social Europe: Languages: Governance; Knowledge Economy; Identities and Citizenship, some of whose products are collected in this book. These themes were the outcome of deliberations over the course of year one, where the key substantive themes for GENIE’s work were identified.

Finally, we want to make special mention of our colleague and friend, Steve Stoer, from the University of Oporto. Steve was central to the work of GENIE. He was a member of the GENIE Steering Group and a module coordinator. Not only was Steve always a brilliant, funny and insightful colleague, but when he passed away on New Year’s Eve 2005, GENIE members immediately became aware of not only what they had lost, but also, more acutely, of what they had gained from having been privileged to know and work with Steve.

GENIE as a Pedagogical Project
The formation of GENIE was a response to the increasing scope of Europeanisation and the increasing pace and penetration of globalisation and their various impacts on national education systems. The intention was to bring together, for the first time, a network of academics and related organisations across Europe around the theme of teaching globalisation and Europeanisation. The purpose of the network was to document, review and share resources, experiences and expertise of those involved in teaching various aspects of globalisation and education and its articulation with the European dimension. Opportunities to meet and work together, through the annual meetings, doctoral classes and Summer Institute, for instance, were particularly formative. For GENIE, Europeanisation and globalisation were not just the topic of the work, but also its medium– collaborative production by European scholars– and, in a very real sense, its outcome; we were very much aware that we were ‘doing’ and ‘making’ Europe’ at the same time as, and by means of, studying it. The aim was not to bring about a convergence of content to be taught, so much as to facilitate the production of new means of understanding the nature of the issues generated by the various intersections of globalisation and Europeanisation in education, that would offer new analytic purchase at local and national, as well as at global and regional scales. The focus was on EU education policy, rather than education policies in the EU, and directed as much to the effects on ‘Europe’ of those processes as to its impacts on the domestic structures and institutions of Member States (or, indeed, non-Member States; several members of the network came from countries not at that time full members, but eligible to partake in educational initiatives).

It is significant and far from coincidental that GENIE was set up in the wake of the March 2000 Lisbon Council , which can be seen to represent the core of the EU’s response to the challenges of globalisation, The agenda set at Lisbon called for Europe to become the most economically competitive and dynamic region in the world, and at the same time achieve greater social cohesion. Crucially, it specified an important role for education in achieving this, with concrete objectives for national education systems across Europe, which, it was insisted, could only be met at the European rather than the national level. Lisbon thus reflects both the changing relationship between Europeanisation and globalisation, and a changing conception of the role and governance of education, with the elaboration of the possibility of a Pan-European educational response. This dual agenda framed the specific challenge to which the network sought to respond and provided a focus for deepening our understanding of these processes.

Globalisation as Context and Pretext
The first part of this dual agenda was based on a recognition that especially since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, processes of globalisation and regionalisation had, quite rightly, caught the attention of social theorists and politicians, and become a major area of focus for work within the academy, with governments and experts struggling to come to terms with these shifts, which were clearly part of a bigger ‘structural change’ in economies and societies. At the same time, Europeanisation was becoming an increasingly complex and sophisticated process and while its features and effects were also being more effectively analysed, its interactions with globalisation and its relationships with national education systems were rather less well understood.

While discussions of globalisation and regionalisation figure prominently in debates within the social sciences as well as in public discussion, there has been very little systematic work on the relationship between them, and more importantly from our point of view, their relationship to education and the European dimension. This is especially unfortunate since education systems are implicated in globalisation and Europeanisation in three key ways. First, education systems are confronted with new challenges as a result of the growing importance of knowledge, learning, new communication technologies and social inclusion both within Europe and in the global knowledge economy. Second, they are themselves greatly influenced by Europeanisation and globalisation. Third, processes of Europeanisation and globalisation are important curriculum topics. However, the nature of the body of knowledge in the field is a major challenge to those engaged in teaching these topics.

It is clear that academics face new and important challenges in making sense of these changes and how to appraise, incorporate and critique the information, knowledge and understandings these generate. These challenges are the greater since there are differing and opposed views on definitions of globalisation and regionalisation and their causal dynamics; on the relationships between these processes and Europeanisation; on what are the most important substantive issues within these fields; and on their methodological implications. At the same time, the knowledge that might make up the resource base for teaching is scattered; its status has not been systematically reviewed; it is likely to come in quite different forms, or to be in language that are not easily accessible. It may be located in new types of institutions and sites as a result of global and regional shifts, it often requires new sorts of skills (especially ICT-based) to facilitate access, and it is very likely to be rapidly replaced.

A further feature of the new global knowledge economy and knowledge society is that it is increasingly dependent upon the collective and diverse intelligence of networks. While there have always been informal networks within the academy, these have often been focused around a traditional discipline (e.g. sociology, economics). They have tended to take the form of loose liaisons rather than being systematically organised (and here the EU’s explicit encouragement of transnational academic networks is of especial interest), and their activities have been focused around individual efforts rather than a programme of work. In particular, understanding globalisation and Europeanisation and their relationships as complex processes is highly dependent upon new ways of arranging knowledge (that is multi-disciplinary, thematic), new ways of exchanging knowledge (networks) using rapid methods of knowledge acquisition and transfer (for example, information and communication technologies) that take into account learners who might have been excluded from traditional models of higher education and more flexible ways on which this knowledge can be acquired.

A direct and practical consequence of globalisation and Europeanisation within higher education sectors has been for universities to become more international in their reach and student body, and for regional organisations like the EU to encourage increased mobility amongst students to further European social and economic integration. These elements raise questions about the resources we use to teach with (multi-disciplinary, non-parochial, critical) and how processes of globalisation and Europeanisation are not only differently experienced in different settings but also recontextualised in particular ways as a result of specific historically – developed institutional patterns of organisation. Students in higher education institutions engaged in learning about globalisation and Europeanisation will only be challenged when teachers create learning experiences that encourage them to critically read and assemble complex and different knowledges, to draw conclusions in the face of rapid and constant change, and to use those insights to generate new knowledge.

These developments question the status of knowledge about globalisation and regionalization, and are themselves a product of globalisation and regionalisation – they lead to the rapid creation and displacement of knowledge, to new networks for knowledge dispersion, and to knowledge intensification. For those teaching in higher education institutions these developments require new levels of understanding about how to incorporate and develop these themes within their teaching.

PART ONE. Governance and the Knowledge Economy
One general point should be made before going on to brief descriptions of the chapters making up Part One. Quite intentionally, all the chapters operate at quite high level of abstraction and assume some prior understanding of European education. In particular, they are not intended as commentaries on the existing literature so much as attempts to locate both that literature and the problematics that it addresses in their wider contexts. This is because one objective of Part One is to provide a means of analysing and locating existing work in the field, rather than taking it as either topic or resource.

The main foci of Part One are governance and knowledge. The first of these is a ‘new’ or reintroduced concept, while the second is a very well worked concept but one that takes on new forms and meanings in the context of discussions of the relationships between globalisation, Europeanisation and education. In a sense, a re-examination of both governance and knowledge is made necessary by the inadequacy of existing concepts and assumptions in explaining the consequences of processes like globalisation and Europeanisation in terms of both what is to be explained and how it might be explained .

This inadequacy has been evident most notably in the case of ‘methodological nationalism’, where the assumption that nation states are containers of ‘society’, and the equation of sovereignty and territory, have been clearly exposed by processes such as globalisation and Europeanisation. As far as ‘governance’ is concerned, in Chapter 1 Dale points to the parallel difficulties of ‘methodological statism’, which, as well as typically assuming a national state, also attributes a particular form of governing to that state. The question of governance was intensely debated in the GENIE network, especially by a small group consisting of Roger Dale, Marek Kwiek, Sverker Lindblad, Christian Maroy and Rimantas Zelvys, all of whom had contributed significantly to the literature on governance of education, with two of them, Lindblad and Maroy, the coordinators of major European projects on the topic, respectively EGSIE and REGULEDUC.[1] The lexical complexities here are manifold, but ‘governance’, was taken not as a model of administrative probity, as in the World Bank’s use of the term, ‘good governance’, or as itself referring to a form of coordination, similar to state and market, but as the ‘coordination of coordination’ of the funding, provision and regulation of education, taken to be operating at more than the national scale.

Widespread and profound changes in the uses of ‘knowledge’ have also characterised the era of globalisation, and penetrated the vocabulary and imaginaries of European education, most clearly through the concept of the Knowledge Economy, which appears to be accepted unproblematically as a description of what is occurring in and to the European economy, and hence of central concern to European education. This is perhaps most evident in its linking to the project of Lifelong Learning, which is now the umbrella term under which all education activity within the European Commission is grouped. Problematising the concept of knowledge, asking how it is used, where, by whom and with what consequences, was central to debates about the globalisation and Europeanisation of education in the Network, as is evident in the contributions to both parts of this volume.

In Chapter 1 of Part One, Roger Dale sets out the methodological and theoretical bases of the arguments that inform both this Chapter and Chapter 6, which may be seen as a pair. The methodological approach draws on Robert Cox’s distinction between problem-solving and critical theory, which, it is argued, is both crucial in itself and enables the basis of the position taken here to be distinguished from much writing on European education policy, which, it is suggested, starts from an essentially ‘problem solving’ position. The critical position adopted in these chapters requires both seeking to locate the sources of the problems to be addressed, rather than taking them as preformed, and to reflect on our own processes of theorising. The first of these is tackled through a discussion of the relationship at the core of this book, that between globalisation and Europeanisation, and the second by means of a debate over the meaning and importance of the concept of governance. The main part of the chapter is given over to an extended treatment of the differences between European Education Space and European Education Policy. The former is seen as an opportunity structure framed formally by the Treaty, substantively by the Lisbon agenda, and historically by pre-2000 European education initiatives. European Education Policy is framed by the Open Method of Coordination, the work of Directorates General, mainly but not exclusively Education, and existing conceptions of the nature and capacity of education. This distinction is elaborated in a discussion of the relationship between the Lisbon agenda, its condensation of issues, constellations of problems and catalytic role for EU education. The chapter ends with an account of implications of the ‘hegemonic project’ of Europe, and the discourses, processes and mechanisms through which it is constructed for education governance at both national and regional levels.

In ‘Education, Knowledge and the Network Society’, Chapter 2, Stephen Stoer & Antonio Magalhaes trace out the status and form taken by the ‘traditional’ dichotomy between education as the formation or development of the individual and as means of socializing new generations into the demands of capitalism. However, they suggest that the changing nature and status of knowledge in contemporary capitalism, which sees it playing a central place in production, means that this tension has been translated into one between education for competences and education for individual development. They resist this reading, arguing that the development of individuals cannot be reduced to either pole, suggesting, for instance, that the Europeanisation of education takes on forms of ‘local’ recognition as well as being shaped by the labour market, that it is concerned with the ‘education of responsible citizens’ as well as with preparing them for work. Their attention is centred on the ‘development of individual capacities’ as these are shaped by the simultaneous ‘top-down’ and bottom up’ pressures that are experienced by national education systems, as they find themselves implicated in novel forms and scales of education agendas. They argue that in terms of top down pressures what is experienced is the transformation of knowledge itself into money, while bottom up pressures involve movements of knowledge from the national education level to the local community, interpreted as the ‘educative city’, where a ‘transparent’ communicational pedagogy prevails. However, they want to resist the dichotomies (such as knowledge as education/formation vs knowledge as competences) implied by such conceptualizations, essentially on the grounds that knowledge is simultaneously local and global, that knowledge produced locally does not exist independently of globalised capitalism and hence clearly has a global dimension. And they conclude that ‘the epistemological fragility of knowledge does not dilute its formative character and, simultaneously, informationalism, in itself, does not empty knowledge of its potential for political and social intervention’.

The first of two contributions from Susan Robertson, Chapter 3, ‘Europe, Competitiveness and Higher Education: an evolving project’ directly addresses the relationship between globalisation and Europeanisation and elaborates very clearly one major example of how that link is forged through education, and what that may mean for our understanding of it. Her focus is European higher education as it has been constructed through the Bologna process. As she shows, this was the culmination of EU activism in the area that had been set in place in the early 1970s, but it has taken on a very different status since the signing of the Bologna agreement in 1999, and particularly since the development of increasingly close links between Bologna and the Lisbon process (for an account of the changing meanings of Bologna over this period, see Dale (2007). Robertson begins by spelling out the very important distinction between globalisation and internationalisation in higher education, and as her argument develops we can see that it also brings considerable clarity to the relationship between globalisation and Europeanisation. Rather than this being conceived, as it often has been, in a hierarchical way–globalisation-regionalisation-national level–she shows that (as argued also in Dale’s opening chapter) Europe has not just a competitiveness project but also a geopolitical project. And in the case of higher education, we can see an element of this geopolitical project, with the global consequences of the spread of the Bologna process invoking concerned reaction and responses from, for instance, the USA and Australia. This explicit project of making European higher education ‘more attractive in a world education market’, as the Commissioner for Education put it, she sees as part of a globalising project, that is simultaneously a regionalising project that enables a European higher education system, and a ‘different’ conception of ‘Europe’ to come into existence.

In Chapter 4 Palle Rasmussen addresses the issue of Lifelong learning (LLL), which has been of particular interest to students of European education policy since it was announced as the umbrella under which all EU education activities would be grouped in 2006. In essence, Rasmussen acknowledges the strength of and reasons for the fairly hostile and critical response to recent conceptions, but is nevertheless keen not to throw the baby out with the bath water. His aim is to restate the case for a human need for lifelong learning and at the same time to show how this has been stifled by educational policies that instrumentalise LLL and ignore those crucial needs of learners. He regards the current prominence of LLL as indicating a paradigmatic change, one of whose characteristics has been a shift of responsibility from individuals to institutions and markets, with consequent dangers of increasing social divisions. He illustrates his argument with the example of changes in the nature and provision of LLL in Denmark, a pioneer of the concept and practice, from its 19th century origins in adult education through folk high schools to the current phase where LLL (rather than adult education) is characterised by an increasing focus on achieving vocational qualification with programmes corresponding to the main levels in full-time education, which he discusses as a form of Habermasian ‘colonisation of the lifeworld’. He sees the main role of the EU in LLL as not so much developing policies–or practices–but in promoting and legitimising an important part of the formation of the future European citizen. However, in this process, ‘the picture of the learning citizen is distorted (and) the meaning of ‘learning’ changes from context to context and slips between the fingers like sand’.

Susan Robertson sets herself the task in Chapter 5 of ‘Unravelling the Politics of Public-Private-partnerships in Education in Europe’. The purpose is to reveal and appraise one novel response to the shift from government to governance of education, especially at the European level. While we have become used to the idea of such a shift, we have tended not to look too far beyond the headline catchers like the OMC. Robertson focuses here on an increasingly prominent mechanism of governance in the field of education, the PPP, which she sees as not merely a pragmatic initiative, but a deeply ideological one. This initiative is intended to depress the role of the state in the provision of public services, as it opens up space for transnational firms, and provides them with a mechanism of articulation with national policies and agendas. She outlines the origins of PPPs, pointing to their links with the Stability Pact, whose limitations on public spending created significant opportunities for private funding of the provision of public infrastructure. Education is by no means exempt from this, as Robertson’s examples show. Her main focus is ICTs in schools, which are seen as a central plank of the European Knowledge Economy, as making great demands on funding, and as a matter for Europe rather than individual MS. She looks in particular at the role of the EC’s E-Learning Summit–which, despite its name, is dominated by major computer manufacturers–who make many familiar points about the shortcomings of education systems, but who, unlike other areas, go on to make funding the desirable initiatives through PPPs a central feature of their report. Overall, she suggests that large ICT companies are now significant participants, unhindered by the politics of subsidiarity and MS interests, in the creation of a European education space, as well as beneficiaries of it.

Roger Dale’s Chapter 6, on Lisbon, the OMC and beyond, falls into three parts. The first part elaborates the specificity of the EES and EEP by focussing on the differences between them and national education systems. This is done by means of an interrogation of each of the components of national, education, system to demonstrate both that they do not do the same things in the same way, and that, consequently, different tools are necessary to analyse them. Dale argues that analysis of each of the three components is inhibited by the adoption of a set of methodological ‘isms’; fixed, taken for granted, unexamined, absolute and a-historical assumptions, such as methodological nationalism, that assumes the nation-state as the container of ‘society’; methodological statism, that assumes that the kinds of institutions through which polities were administered in earlier times change in degree but not principle; and methodological educationism, that assumes that what is taken as ‘education’ is (a) taken to be characterised by a common scope, knowledges and practices; and (b) necessarily coherent and without internal contradictions. On this basis it is argued that EES and EEP are quite distinct from national education systems. The second, and largest section of the chapter focuses on the OMC. This is taken not so much as a means of simply implementing the Lisbon agenda, but as having a more complex relationship with the EES and EEP. The ways that these are framed mean that the OMC is likely to: be concerned with policy paradigms rather than policy reforms and programme ontologies rather than programmes; depoliticised but not a-political; and directed at MS education systems rather than education policies. Finally, Dale speculates that one possible outcome of the structures and processes described may be the emergence of distinct and parallel new ‘education’ sectors at EU and MS levels, with different mandates, capacities and forms of governance.

PART TWO. Citizenship, Identity and Language
Crucial features of the European project being advanced in reaction and relation to globalisation are ‘citizenship’, ‘identity’ and ‘language’. These three elements, simultaneously the objects and outcomes of struggles both within and at the borders of the European space, are intimately tied to a particular ‘northern’ and European paradigm of globalisation. This raises the often overlooked point, that globalisation is a political project, a process (that has temporal and spatial dimensions), and a condition (an ontological claim), and that its advance, take-up and effects are different in different parts of the world. Having said this, Europe is intimately tied to the ‘south’ through old and new colonial ties which it continues to exploit through what might be called ‘benevolent’ forms of imperialism’ (Hartmann, 2007).

Building Europe as a territory and legitimate political project is a complex process entailing notions of citizenship and identity. Citizenship entails rights and responsibilities as a consequence of territorial and sovereignty claims. But the bases on which these claims are made are being transformed as a result of identity and other ‘recognition’ claims within and across Europe. What makes the European project particularly interesting, and yet also more complex, is that it must articulate with other competing claims to identity (including elite’s identities) and citizenship at different scales of rule. Identity claims are also mediated by language claims, yet language itself operates instrumentally, (as in English increasingly being a pragmatic language to advance communication across the European space), strategically, (as in the middle classes using English as a strategy for advancing their own class mobility project). At the same time, English may also be perceived as aligned with the advance of neoliberal policies within the European Union, and therefore as an instrument of imperialism. This makes for a heady mix of claims, strategies, identities and linguistic communities, all of which–as the authors below show–mediate globalisation and Europeanisation.

In Chapter 7, ‘In the Name of Globalisation: Southern and Northern Paradigms of Educational Development’, Xavier Bonal & Xavier Rambla site their analysis before and after the Washington Consensus in order to observe the development of new paradigms in education and development. Arguing that globalisation has altered educational agendas worldwide, and that some similarities in the global agenda can be identified, the authors suggest that the ways in which those agendas are produced, distributed and carried out at different scales of decision-making may explain different implementation processes as well as different impacts on educational development and inequalities. This chapter explores how southern and northern paradigms of educational development have shifted for the last decades, by identifying the explanatory and normative frameworks of different political agendas. By doing this they show that globalisation is used with different meanings and has different implications in shaping southern and northern education policy agendas. The analysis of the ‘southern case’ takes a general form while European education policy is taken as a specific case of a ‘northern’ paradigm of education and development. Bonal & Rambla conclude by pointing out how different power relations impinge on the different mechanisms that set southern and northern agendas.

In Chapter 8, ‘Education, Equality and the European Social Model’, Palle Rasmussen, Jacky Brine, Kathleen Lynch, Michael Peters & Heinz Sunker, argue that the concept of ‘Social Europe’ is an ambiguous and contested one. Keeping in mind Bonal & Rambla’s arguments above around ‘northern’ versus ‘southern’ development paradigms, Rasmussen et al show that a dominant northern discourse, ‘Social Europe’, is not a single and univocal discourse but more complicated and containing at least three different meanings. These they identify as (i) an area of European Union policies – for example, employment, quality of work, gender equality, social cohesion, social inclusion and the quality of social policy; (ii) a broader sense of ‘Social Europe’ (and more recently the ‘European Social Model’) to designate qualities of social life and welfare that characterise Europe in contrast to other parts of the world, not least the United States; and (iii) a discourse mobilized by certain actors, not least socialist parties and trade unions, to indicate the qualities they strive to realise in the European Union. These actors emphasise social equality and solidarity as part of their vision for Europe, and as alternatives to neo-liberalism. The chapter then turns to what the implications are of the discourse of Social Europe for education.

In Chapter 9, ‘Languages, Education and Europeanisation’, Janet Enever provides a broad introduction to the topic of languages in contemporary Europe. She contextualises current trends, debates and implications for education within a broader picture of a pattern of shift and change in language choice across many domains of use over time. Enever argues that such changes are a response to shifts in the balance of power within and between nations in recognition of the economic and political benefits for speakers of particular languages, rather than an expansion of the language purely for the intrinsic worth it might offer its speakers. By problematising the role of contemporary state and regional legislation in support of minority and pluri-lingual language agendas, Enever is then able to examine the real impact on both schooled and unschooled learning of languages.

Chapter 10, by M’hammed Sabour, is titled ‘Globalisation and Europeanisation: Unicentricity and Polycentricity and the Role of Intellectuals’. Sabour builds upon Pierre Bourdieu’s (1992) conception of Europe, which is seen as a space where various national interests and particularities struggle for distinction, recognition, domination, equality, prominence and/or leadership. Framed in this way, Sabour sheds new light on both the problematic of European integration, and the relationship between globalization and Europeanisation, in discussing Europeanisation as involving an ‘endogenous’ as well as an ‘exogenous’ process. Exogenous Europeanisation, the spread of European economy, politics and culture across the world, was both one of the creating forces of, and, simultaneously, the outcome of, globalization. Endogenous Europeanisation, on the other hand, involves the construction of a unicentric, techno-bureaucratic and politically unified Europe under the auspices of its economically strongest and politically most influential members. In addition to a short account of the dominant discourse on globalization, Sabour offers an analysis of the position and role of differently located and positioned intellectuals in this discourse, as guardians and watch-dogs of polycentric Europeanisation and globalization pitted against the homogenising and hegemonising project that he sees emerging from Brussels’ unicentric and technocratic Europeanisation.

Chapter 11, ‘What is Language Europe?’ by Kirk Sullivan & Janet Enever, returns to the theme of language in Europe which Enever opened up in an earlier chapter. They explore two recent trends in language choices across education in Europe, interpreting them in the light of global, regional and local pressures that currently drive them forward. In selecting evidence of language curricula from the contrastive contexts of higher education (HE) and the early primary years, Sullivan and Enever propose that these strands may represent a supra-national layering for creating a new flexible, mobile élite with fluency in at least one regional or global language in addition to their local/national language, rather than an initial framework for achieving the oft stated goal of creating a whole population with this potential ability. They identify this new élite as a technocratic élite, equipped with the cultural capital of ‘technical’ skills (that is, language/intercultural skills) necessary to facilitate business deals in a global economic and political world today. Sullivan and Enever also consider the educational realities of inclusion and exclusion for membership of this élite, highlighting an increasing urban/rural divide in some regions of Europe, as well as contrasting real and perceived differences in resourcing and expertise at both primary and tertiary levels of education.

Chapter 12, ‘Performance, Citizenship and the Knowledge Society: a new mandate for European education policy’ by Antonio Magalhaes & Stephen Stoer, approaches the question of the scope of European education policy from a somewhat different direction (and from what they refer to as the ‘European periphery), though maintaining an insistence on the need to move the analysis beyond the relatively narrow economic competitiveness agenda. This remains the case despite the first half of their chapter focussing on the shortcomings and deficits identified in the more ‘liberal’ pedagogies of the Fordist era, and the response and alternative to them that is contained in the emphasis on the importance of competences (which, very interestingly, they trace back to Edith Cresson’s 1995 White Paper on the Knowledge Society) and what they refer to as performance. They contrast the ‘performance’ approach, where there is a preoccupation with a pedagogy of teaching based on the transmission of knowledge, and a ‘pedagogical’ approach to pedagogy, characterised by a pedagogy of learning where the pupils’ socio-cultural and educational characteristics are central; and these two approaches are represented respectively in meritocratic and democratic conceptions of schooling. However, Magalhaes & Stoer see it as crucial to get beyond a simple dichotomy, and construct instead a continuum across the two positions, which, in a labour market context structured by flexible capitalism, and where the school has ceased to be seen as the only source of education and competences, can change education’s role in the relationship between social origins and destinations. And they go on in the second half of the chapter to suggest that the new mandate for European education coincides with a range of cultural changes. These are reflected both in lifestyle changes and new forms of (post national) citizenship, both of which signal changes away from the social contract of modernity. They discuss in particular ‘rebellions of difference’, which include epistemological as well as political and cultural assumptions, and look to the emergence of forms of ‘demanded’, or ‘claimed’ citizenship that contrast with its ‘attributed’ nature in the modern nation state.

Taken together, we hope that these chapters will open up new lines of debate around globalisation, Europeanisation and education, as well as providing an important resource to policymakers, academics and students interested in this historical, and fascinating, project.

[1] The EGSIE project (‘Educational Governance and Social Integration and Exclusion in Education’) ran from 1998 to 2001. It was funded by the European Commission and coodinated by Sverker Lindblad. The best source for the work of the project is the Special Issue of the European Educational Research Journal, Volume 1, Number 4, published in 2002 ( REGULEDUC, ‘Changes in regulation modes and social production of inequalities in educational systems : a European comparison’ was also funded by the European Commission. It ran from 20014 and was directed by Christian Maroy. (see Maroy, 2006, and Dupriez & Maroy, 2003). Maroy’s contribution was especially important, pointing out as he did, that the term ‘governance’ did not have a direct equivalent in French, while the French term regulation translated equally inadequately into English.

Dale, Roger (2007) Changing Meanings of ‘The Europe Of Knowledge’ And ‘Modernising the University’, From Bologna To The ‘New Lisbon’, European Education.
Dupriez, Vincent & Maroy, Christian (2003) Regulation in School Systems: a theoretical analysis of the structural framework of the school system in French-speaking Belgium, Journal of Education Policy, 18(4), 375-392.
Maroy, Christian (2006) Ecole, Regulation Et Marche: Une Comparaison De Six Espaces Scolaires Locaux En Europe. Paris: PUF.


Xavier Bonal is Associate Professor in Sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and co-director of the Social Policy Research Group (Seminari d’Anàlisi de Polítiques Socials, SAPS) at the Department of Sociology of the same institution. He has widely published in national and international journals and is author of several books on sociology of education, education policy and globalisation, education and development. He has worked as consultant for international organisations like UNESCO, UNICEF the European Commmission, and the Council of Europe. Since 2006 he has been Deputy Ombudsman for Children’s Rights in the Office of the Catalan Ombudsman.

Pepka Boyadjieva is Professor at the Institute of Sociology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and part of the Fulbright New Century Scholars program. She is Chair of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Sociology and Secretary of the Central Certification Committee in Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies, and also Academic Associate at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Sofia, member of the Editorial Board of the journal Sociological Problems and Vice-President of the Bulgarian Sociological Association.

Jacky Brine is Professor of EU Education Policy at the University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom. Her research interests are in the area of lifelong learning, particularly the policies of the European Union in which the European Commission has a legal competency to act: lifelong learning, vocational training, youth transitions (14-19), adult education and training, and higher education. Her analyses focus on constructions and trajectories of policies, on aspects of inter/national governance and on the classed, gendered and ‘racialised’ effects on learners and practitioners.

Roger Dale is Professor in the Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. Prior to that, he was Professor of Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is currently Scientific Coordinator of the EU’s Network of Experts in Social Science and Education (NESSE). He was the Academic Coordinator of GENIE in 2002, and is co-editor and co-founder (with Susan Robertson) of the journal Globalisation, Societies and Education.

Janet Enever is a Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University where she is Project Director of a three year European Commission-funded research study, Early Language Learning in Europe (ELLiE). She is also course leader for the MA Primary ELT: Policy & Practice. Her main research and consultancy interests are primary language policy and practice and the impact of globalisation on language provision.

Kathleen Lynch is Professor of Equality Studies at University College, Dublin, Ireland, where she holds a Senior Lectureship in Education. She was founder of the UCD Equality Studies Centre (established in 1990) and of the UCD School of Social Justice (2005). She is lead scientist for the Egalitarian World Initiative Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Award (2006-2010) for a project entitled Creating and Egalitarian and Socially Inclusive Europe (ESIE). Her book Affective Equality: Who cares? Studies in Gender, Care and Justice will be published by Palgrave in 2009.

António M. Magalhães is Associate Professor at the University of Porto, Portugal, and a senior researcher at CIPES (Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies). He has published articles in Higher Education Policy, European Journal of Education, and Globalisation, Societies & Education, Educação Sociedade & Culturas among other journals. He has also published some books and chapters with Peter Lang, Routledge/Taylor&Francis, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Edições Afrontamento, among others publishing houses.

Michael A. Peters has been Professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, since 2005, having previously held professorial positions at the Universities of Auckland and Glasgow. His main research interests are in educational philosophy, theory and policy studies with a focus on the significance of both contemporary philosophers (Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Heidegger) and the movements of poststructralism, critical theory and analytic philosophy to the framing of educational theory and practice. He is also interested in philosophical and political economy questions of knowledge production and consumption and constructions of the ‘knowledge economy’. His major current projects include work on distributed knowledge, learning and publishing systems, and ‘open education’.

Xavier Rambla has been Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, since 2001, having been a lecturer at Universitat de Vic, Spain, from 1995 until then. Sociology of education and the analysis of social inequalities are his main research specialties, which he has developed by means of several projects funded by the Institute of Women (Gov. Spain), the Ministry of Science (Gov. Spain), the DG Education (European Commission) and other institutions. For the last years he has co-ordinated the Seminar for the Analysis of Social Policies (UAB:, and is a member of the Interdisciplinary Group on Education Policy (UAB-UB:

Palle Rasmussen is Professor of Education and Learning Research, Department of Education, Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark. His research interests include educational policy (in national as well as international contexts), sociological theories of education and learning, vocational and professional education, adult education. He recently completed a major research project on adult education in the Danish peripheries. He is a member of the EU expert network in the social sciences of education, NESSE.

Susan Robertson is Professor of Sociology of Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, United Kingdom. Susan’s recent areas of research and writing is on globalisation, regionalisation, state policy and the politics of knowledge and development. She coordinated the GENIE network 2002-2004, and is founding co-editor of the journal Globalisation, Societies and Education.

M’hammed Sabour is a Professor of Sociology (Knowledge and Culture) at the University of Joensuu, Finland. He has authored and edited many books and articles. His main fields of research are higher education, intellectuals, cultural globalisation, brain mobility and European multiculturalism. He is the managing editor of the International Journal of Contemporary Sociology.

Stephen R. Stoer, who died in 2005, was Professor of Education at the University of Porto, Portugal, and senior researcher at CIIE (Centre for Research and Intervention in Education). He was a leading figure in the field of sociology of education and education policy analysis in Portugal and one of the founders of the CIIE (he was its first director). He co-ordinated numerous research projects in education and he was widely published in Portugal, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Canada, France, Brazil, New Zealand, and United States.

Kirk P. H. Sullivan is a Reader in Phonetics and Educational Work at Umeå University, Sweden. He has studied or worked in England, Wales, Germany, New Zealand and Sweden. He is currently director of postgraduate studies in the Department of Language Studies and his research interests include higher education, language teaching and learning, and literacy.

Heinz Sünker is Professor of Social Pedagogics and Social Policy in the Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Wuppertal, Germany. His research interests include critical theory, sociology and politics of education, theory and history of social work, philosophy of education and childhood studies. He has published widely in areas such as democracy and political socialisation, and his most recent publication is Politics, Bildung and Social Justice: perspectives for a democratic society (Sense Publications).

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