Panel C.05 — Global governance and education: implications for policy and practice

Convenors Tore Bernt Sorensen (University of Glasgow); Marcella Milana (University of Verona); Xavier Rambla (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Keywords Global governance, non-state actors, policy diffusion, identities, subjectivity


The purpose of this panel is to stimulate debate and advance the research agenda on transnational, European and global education governance, and the implications for democratic participation and social justice in Europe and beyond.

The panel welcomes both theoretically and empirically oriented abstracts, drawing on the full range of social science theories and methods, including comparative as well as single case studies.

Global education governance has received increased attention in research and scholarship over the past two decades (Tierney, Rizvi and Ercikan, 2022). The entry point of this panel is that global education governance is characterized by constant evolution and complexity in terms of decision-making and outcomes, reflecting the wider shift from state-centred government towards ‘pluri-scalar’ and ‘polycentric’ global governance since the 1980s (Rizvi and Lingard, 2010; Steiner-Khamsi and Waldow, 2012). The emergence and consolidation of a global education policy field involve an evolving functional, scalar and sectoral division of the labour of education governance (Dale, 2005), with major implications for how education policy issues are being framed discursively and addressed at multiple levels of decision-making, the type of actors gaining access to policy processes, the varying policy outcomes in different settings, and the patterns of policy diffusion.

With its concern for contemporary decision-making, policy processes and outcomes, as well as the wider implications for social justice, democracy, and teaching and learning practices at all educational levels, the panel primarily relates to the Conference areas “educational policy and inequality contrast: outcomes and criticalities” and “governance, subjectivities, and the forms of education”.

Regarding themes, the panel encourages contributions concentrating on one or more of the following themes: i) dynamics between multiple levels of policymaking (e.g., global, European, national, local) (Milana, 2017); ii) policies and activities of major actors with an explicitly transnational or global horizon of action, including, for instance, the OECD, UNESCO, and the European Union institutions, as well as the proliferation of state and non-state organisations and networks engaging with educational issues and policies at multiple levels of governance (Davies and Woodward, 2014; Sorensen, Ydesen and Robertson, 2021); iii) epistemologies underpinning the production of policy knowledge; iv) trends and changes in the emphases on personal, social, economic and employment dimensions of educational objectives, including the ways in which educational issues are incorporated as part of wider public policy initiatives and boundary-spanning policy regimes (Graf et al. forthcoming; Sorensen and Dumay, forthcoming) concerned with, for instance, the Sustainable Development Goals, migration, skills, early school leaving and transitions; and v) modes of governance and policy diffusion, including collaborative and learning-oriented networks as well as more coercion and hierarchy-oriented forms of governance, and the implications for democratic representation and social justice (Dobbin, Simmons and Garrett, 2007; Dunlop and Radaelli, 2013); and vi) varying implications of global and EU education governance in different systems or geographical settings in terms of educational practices, identities and subjectivities, social justice, democratic participation and inequalities (Alexiadou and Rambla, 2023; Sorensen, Grimaldi and Gajderowicz, 2021).


Guidelines and abstracts submission