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Governing Through Standards – The Faceless Masters of Higher Education: The Bologna Process, the EU and the Open Method of Coordination

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This book offers an empirical and theoretical account of the mode of governance that characterizes the Bologna Process. In addition, it shows how the reform materializes and is translated in everyday working life among professors and managers in higher education. It examines the so-called Open Method of Coordination as a powerful actor that uses “soft governance” to advance transnational standards in higher education. The book shows how these standards no longer serve as tools for what were once human organizational, national or international, regulators. Instead, the standards have become regulators themselves – the faceless masters of higher education. By exploring this, the book reveals the close connections between the Bologna Process and the EU regarding regulative and monitoring techniques such as standardizations and comparisons, which are carried out through the Open Method of
Coordination. It suggests that the Bologna Process works as a subtle means to circumvent the EU’s subsidiarity principle, making it possible to accomplish a European governance of higher education despite the fact that education falls outside EU’s legislative reach.

“Katja Brøgger’s book, Governing through Standards: The Faceless Masters of Higher Education, is essential reading for all policy sociologists in education, for all those with interests in higher education, and for those concerned with how EU policies and soft governance work through the Open Method of Coordination. This is so because of its original methodological contribution (multi-sited policy ethnography), its sophisticated theoretical framing (philosophy of science, new materialism, feminism) and its brilliant insights into the ways Bologna standards and practices for higher education are translated into the quotidian practices of university administrators and academics and at the same time create a European Higher Education Area.” (Emeritus Professor, PhD, Bob Lingard, School of Education, The University of Queensland, Australia)

“This book is essential reading to truly understand how education policies are imposed from above, the manifold ways in which power works invisibly and the determining effects of emotion. This book makes a ground-breaking contribution to the scholarship on how education policies are internalised, but also resisted in unexpected ways.” (Professor, PhD, Rajani Naidoo, School of Management, Bath University, England)

“Brøgger’s book is a timely and highly original theoretical contribution to studies on governing higher education and also a beautifully crafted read.” (Professor, PhD, Susan Robertson, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, England)

“Governing through Standards: the Faceless Masters of Higher Education offers a timely and much needed conceptual framework for unravelling the subtle mechanism of soft governance. This is a ‘must read’ if you are to understand how no one in particular governs while everything effectively and affectively exercises governance.” (Professor, PhD, Dorthe Staunæs, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark)
Antal sider187
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-030-00886-4
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-030-00886-4
StatusUdgivet - 2019
SerietitelEducational Governance Research

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