Studying through the Bologna process: alternative approaches to studying large-scale policy reforms

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The presentation revolves around a series of methodological questions about the relationship between the official policy level and everyday lives of academics and students in the Bologna process.

Over the last decades, the traditional approach to policy reforms as linear processes and its vocabularies of dichotomy (structure-actor, cause-effect, action-reaction etc.) has found a valuable counterpart in an, mainly poststructuralist, emphasis on policy as contestation, negotiation and translation. Many of these, however, do not make a final move beyond causality and the idea that policy can be studied as movement down a hierarchy or a sequence of activity through time from the so-called ‘policy makers’ at the top to the so-called ‘policy recipients’ at the bottom.

In the paper, I pick up the challenge by sharing my own explorations of alternative approaches developed in actor-network theory (e.g. Latour, 2005) and anthropology of policy in particular (e.g. Reinholds & Wright, 2011). In order to open the floor for a critical discussion of value of the latter, I draw on my recent studies of the Bologna process as a multiplicity of happenings which radiate in different directions and involve a multiplicity of competing claims and contestations (Sarauw, 2011, 2013).

Bibliography: Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sarauw, L.L. (2011). Kompetencebegrebet og andre stileøvelser: Fortællinger om uddannelsesudviklingen på de danske universiteter efter universitetsloven 2003. PhD Thesis, University of Copenhagen 2011. Sarauw, L.L. (2013). Qualifications Frameworks and their conflicting social imaginaries of globalization, The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, 5(3), 22-39 Wright, S. & S. Reinholds (2011). Studying through. A strategy for studying political transformation, in (eds.) Wright, S., C. Shore and D. Pero (2011), Policy worlds. Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, Berghahn Books, 87-104.


Publikationsdato26 maj 2015
Antal sider2
StatusUdgivet - 26 maj 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedECER 2015 Conference: Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research - Budapest University, Budapest, Ungarn
Varighed: 7 sep. 201511 sep. 2015


KonferenceECER 2015 Conference
LokationBudapest University

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