The Challenge of Theory in Comparative Policy Research

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation of workshop, seminar or course

See relations at Aarhus University

John Benedicto Krejsler - Organizer

Bob Lingard - Speaker

Carney Stephen - Speaker

This seminar explores the role of theory in expanding how we can think about educational policy research at a time when it is being constrained by a dominant global mode of representation. With a focus on re-articulation, we shall explore the potentials for thinking differently; of explicitly employing theory to reframe narratives about global education. This is done by employing theory that offers radical other language with the purpose of making it possible to think global education policy differently.
This includes the work of Arjun Appadurai (notions of scapes, disjunctures of globalizing flows, and diasporic spaces), Ash Amin (topological spaces), Jean Baudrillard (simulations, simulacra, and the powers of fatal thinking), Gilles Deleuze (practices of joy and sadness, control societies and deterritorializations) and the broader turn toward post-foundational perspectives in theory.
Since the 1990’s education has moved from being a national prerogative to entering what has increasingly become a global space of comparison. Dominant logics urge countries to become comparable through surveys, standards, and imaginaries of best practice. Transnational collaborations strive for a common language for how we can conceptualize, think and act education through so-called consensus-advancing procedures that motivate through peer-pressure and fears of falling behind. Such processes have unfolded as comparison in education has risen on the policy agenda, as education is increasingly connected to the value of a nation’s human capital and success among ‘competitive global Knowledge Economies’. Comparative surveys like PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS have become agenda-setting mainstay in policy debate. National policy looks for the country with best practices through the lens of comparison. Nonetheless, the use of theory to understanding and challenging this turn of events is still underdeveloped.
17 Sep 2019


SeminarThe Challenge of Theory in Comparative Policy Research
LocationDanish School of Education, Aarhus University
Period17/09/2019 → …


  • comparative education, Policy research, theory

ID: 157795993