lnu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Governing by instruction: Strengthening the role of the EU in national educational policy-making
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy. (Studies in Curriculum, Teaching and Evaluation (SITE))
2015 (English)In: ECER 2015, Education and Transition. Contributions from Educational Research, Network: 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As the importance of transnational arenas and actors in governing education has increased over the last decades there has been a growing number of studies trying to conceptualise the ‘soft power’ exercised by these actors. Important contributions have been made in order to understand these new governance practices stated in terms of ‘governing at a distance’, ‘governing by numbers’ and/or ‘governing by inspection’, all of them emphasising that it has to do with governance exercised without legal power. This is also the rationale behind the starting point of this paper. The aim of this paper is not primarily to find a new way to conceptualise these governance practices but to show how these practices in recent years have come to accommodate a growing number of constituents traditionally associated with legal government such as curriculum guidelines and policy instructions. The emergence of a European ‘crisis discourse’ from the mid 00s and onwards is discussed as an important reason why new governance strategies have been developed to strengthen central control over national educational reforms in Europe. Discussing the governance exercised by the European Union in this paper in terms of ‘governing by instruction’ is an attempt to complement rather than replace previous conceptualisations and to problematise the emergence of new forms of central control and direct involvement from the European Commissions in policy making in the member states. In order to follow the process from the EU to the member state level Sweden serves as a national example. The paper draws on two kinds of empirical material, partly on an analysis of central official policy documents produced by the EU and the Swedish government and partly by documents related to the development, communication and implementation by the European Commission of country-specific recommendations, using Sweden as the national policy arena.  Theoretically the paper draws on earlier work on Europeanisation in education (Lawn & Lingard 2002; Grek 2008; Grek & Lawn 2009; Lawn 2011; Lawn & Grek 2012) where Europeanisation is understood as a general process towards a strengthened coordination of national educational policies.

Method

In order to examine the shifts towards strengthened governance as communicated in the policy documents, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)(Chouliaraki & Fairclough 1999; Wodak 2002) is used as a methodological approach. Critical discourse analysis enables a systematic analysis of policy texts as parts of social practices continuously making and remaking our understanding of the world. Understanding discourse as part of social practice thus makes discourse constitutive, not just for human thinking, but also for human action. From this position policy texts are seen as materialised expressions of discourse. Fundamental to the analysis is to see discursive interaction as ‘sites of struggle’ where different actors, ideologies and/or positions struggle for dominance (Wodak 2002). In order to capture this discursive interaction I have used Reisigl’s (2008) four different categories of discursive strategies in the systematic analysis. The first one is ’nomination’ and refers to how different phenomena are described. The second one is ’predication’ and refers to what positive and/or negative attributes are given to these phenomena. ’Argumentation’ then has to do with the arguments that are used to legitimise and/or delegitimise different positions. ’Perspectivation’ finally means an analysis of the basic positions upon which the three above strategies are based.

Expected Outcomes

The study shows that the overall understanding of the governance rationale of the European educational policy space can best be described in terms of ’soft governance’ where the use of objectives, indictors, benchmarks and inspections are central elements. But it will also show that due to a European crisis discourse emerging around the mid 00s there has been a shift towards an increased introduction of elements traditionally linked to more centralised forms of government, which calls for conceptual rethinking. The argument of the paper is that the concept ‘governing by instruction’, presented in this paper will, as a result of the analyses, contribute to the understanding of the multifaceted governance exercised by the EU as a practice containing simultaneously soft and hard elements and where the harder ones have come to play an increasingly important role in the light of the emergent European crisis discourse.

References

Alexiadou, Nafsika (2014). Policy learning and Europeanisation in education: the governance of a field and the transfer of knowledge. In: Nordin, A & Sundberg, D (Eds.) Transnational policy-flows in European education – the making and governing of knowledge in the education policy field. Oxford: Symposium books. Chouliaraki, Lilie and Fairclough, Norman. (1999). Discourse in late modernity. Rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Dale, Roger & Robertson, Susan (2009). Globalisation & Europeanisation in Education. Oxford: Symposium Books. Fenwick, Tara, Mangez, Eric & Ozga, Jenny (2014). Governing knowledge. Comparison, Knowledge-based Technologies and Expertise in the Regulation of Education. Grek, Sotiria (2008). From Symbols to Numbers: the shifting technologies of education governance in Europe. European Educational Research Journal, 7(2), 208-218. Grek, S. (2009). Governing by Numbers: the PISA effect in Europe, Journal of Education Policy, 24(1), pp.23–37. Grek, Sotiria, Lawn, Martin, Ozga, Jenny & Segerholm, Christina (2013). Governing by inspection? European inspectorates and the creation of a European education policy space. Comparative Education, 49(4), 486-502. Lawn, Martin & Lingard, Bob (2002). Constructing a European Policy Space in Educational Governance: the role of transnational policy actors. European Educational Research Journal, 1(2), 290-307. Lawn, Martin. & Grek, Sotiria (2012). Europeanizing Education – governing a new policy space. Oxford: Symposium Books. Lawn, Martin (2013). The Rise of Data in Education Systems. Oxford: Symposium Books. Nordin, Andreas (2014). Europeanisation in national educational reforms: horizontal and vertical translations. In: Nordin, A & Sundberg, D (Eds.) Transnational policy-flows in European education – the making and governing of knowledge in the education policy field. Oxford: Symposium books. Pépin, Luce (2006). The History of European Cooperation in Education and Training: Europe in the making – an example. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Reisigl, Martin. (2008). Analyzing political rhetoric. In: Ruth Wodak & Michal Krzyzanowski (Eds.). Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Steiner-Khamsi, Gita & Waldow, Florian (2012). Policy Borrowing and lending in Education. London: Routledge. Wodak, Ruth. (2002). What CDA is about _ a summary of its history, important concepts and its developments. In:, Ruth Wodak & Michael Meyer (Eds.). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage Publications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46220OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-46220DiVA, id: diva2:853127
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2015, Budapest, September 7-11, 2015
Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-09-11 Last updated: 2015-10-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Fulltext

Authority records BETA

Nordin, Andreas

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nordin, Andreas
By organisation
Department of pedagogy
Educational Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 118 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf