The aim of this thesis is to analyse the EU vocational education and training policy process (The Copenhagen Process) from a critical perspective based on the policy analysis methodology, “What’s the Problem Represented to Be?” (WPR) developed by Professor Carol Bacchi. The main research question “How can the European vocational education and training policy process - the Copenhagen Process - be understood from a WPR perspective? “ is addressed in six articles which take apart the Copenhagen Process and deal with specific WPR questions and specific aspects of the Copenhagen Process: the construction of vocational education and training; changes in governmentality; the genealogy of EC vocational education and training policy; the technologies of Europeanization; and finally the discursive and institutional effects of the policy process in the Danish context. The thesis argues that the Copenhagen Process has legitimately extended vocational education and training policy formation to include the EU and its new institutional settings established through the Open Method of Coordination. Furthermore, vocational education and training is being reconfigured within a neoliberal Lifelong Learning discourse in which education and training in general is to contribute to the competitiveness of the EU in a global economy. Within this discourse, policy is de-politicized and naturalised as being neutral and evidence-based leading to the unreflective transfer of policies across countries.
Danmarks Pædagogiske Universitetsskole, Aarhus Universitet