23 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
The principle of subsidiarity has for a long time denoted the construction of the European educational space. The turning point in strengthening common European cooperation in the field of education was the presentation of the Lisbon Strategy, where education was first recognized as requisite for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the EU. The new mode of governance – open method of coordination (OMC) – was introduced in order to reach the common EU strategic goals in education policy, where member states would still like to maintain their sovereignty over their national education systems. Because of its non-obligatory nature on the one hand and its presumed efficiency on the other, OMC triggered the most extensive academic attention in the whole process of European integration (Zeitlin et al. 2005). Although researchers (e.g. Zeitlin 2009; Warleigh-Lack and Drachenberg 2011) agree that common European cooperation in the field of education on the basis of the OMC has widened and deepened, Alexiadou and Lange (2013) expose that there is still little empirical work that tries to understand how OMC are being received in the member states. Consequently, the question of OMC influence on member states remains open.
The main aim of the paper is to explicate the OMC influence on the Slovenian educational space in the first decade of its EU membership (2004 – 2014). In the paper we use a complex multilevel framework of analysis, which serves us for the explanation of conditions under which OMC triggers member states to reach EU goals and therefore initiate the convergence of the European educational space. In that way we focus on the main factors which direct member states into reaching common EU goals in the field of education policy and explicate a combination of ideational and organizational pressures, stimulating member states to adapt their own ideas and organizational structures in order to attain common EU goals (Bӧrzel and Risse 2000; Leuze et al. 2008; Bórras and Radaelli 2011).
In the paper we study OMC in the field of education policy and its influence on member states (e.g. Slovenia) within a theoretical framework which presents the combination of theoretical postulates of the concept of a new mode of governance as the outcome-oriented governance, governance of comparisons, governance of problems and governance of knowledge, theory of policy learning and the concept of evidence-based policy making. Authors (e.g. Radaelli 2008) argue that new modes of governance in the absence of the legally binding norms are based on policy learning. We thus introduced the policy learning theory into our theoretical framework in order to answer the basic criticism that OMC is not theoretically supported enough. Since the scope of policy learning theory is very wide, we restrict it by using the concept of evidence-based policy making. This enables us to focus firstly on the actors, who have a prevailing role in OMC in the field of education policy – experts and their relationship with policy makers and stakeholders – and secondly on the basic OMC instruments – indicators and benchmarks, international comparative assessment studies and good practices, which are based on expert knowledge.
In the paper theoretical considerations are highlighted by the findings of empirical research, which reveals that at the EU level Slovenia is recognized as a “good pupil” in the reception of the OMC in the past decade. Taking into consideration above theoretical framework and that interesting empirical observation, the paper is guided by the following research question: “What have Slovenia learnt in the first decade within the European educational space and how this (policy) learning process has influenced the development of Slovenian educational space?”
Alexiadou, Nafsika, Danica Fink Hafner and Bettina Lange. 2010. Education policy convergence through the Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC): Theoretical reflections and implementation in »old« and »new« national contexts. European Educational Research Journal 9 (3): 345–358. Alexiadou, Nafsika and Bettina Lange. 2013. Deflecting European Union influence on national education policy-making: the case of the United Kingdom. Journal of European Integration 35 (1): 37–52. Altrichter, Herbert. 2010. Theory and Evidence on Governance: conceptual and empirical strategies of research on governance in education. European Educational Research Journal 9 (2): 147–158. Borrás, Susana and Claudio M. Radaelli. 2011. The Politics of Governance Architectures: Creation, Change and Effects of the EU Lisbon Strategy. Journal of European Public Policy 18 (4): 463–484. Bӧrzel, A. Tanja and Thomas Risse. 2000. When Europe Hits Home: Europeanization and Domestic Change. European Integration online Papers 4 (1): 1–20. Grek, Sotiria. 2008. From symbols to numbers: the shifting technologies of education governance in Europe. European Educational Research Journal 7 (2): 208–218. Lajh, Damjan and Urška Štremfel. 2011. Exploiting the Potential of the Open Method of Coordination in Slovenian Education Policy. Czech Sociological Review 47 (3): 507–529. Lange, Bettina and Nafsika Alexiadou. 2010. Policy learning and governance of education policy in the EU. Journal of Education Policy 25 (4): 443–463. Leuze Kathrin, Tilman Brand, Anja P. Jakobi, Kerstin Martens, Alexander Nagel, Alessandra Rusconi and Ansgar Weymann. 2008. Analysing the Two-Level Game International and National Determinants of Change in Education Policy Making. Bremen: University of Bremen, TranState Working Papers, No. 72. Lascoumes, Pierre in Patrick Le Galès. 2007. Introduction: Understanding Public Policy through Its Instruments – From the Nature of Instruments to the Sociology of Public Policy Instrumentation. Governance 20 (1): 1–21. Ozga, Jenny, Peter Dahler-Larsen, Christina Sergerholm and Hannu Simola, eds. 2011. Fabricating Quality in Education: Data and Governance in Europe. London: Routledge. Radaelli, M. Claudio. 2008. Europeanization, Policy Learning, and New Modes of Governance. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 10 (3): 239–254. Warleigh-Lack, Alex and Ralf Drachenberg. 2011. Spill over in a Soft Policy Era? Evidence from the Open Method of Coordination in Education and Training. Journal of European Public Policy 18 (7): 999–1015.
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