23 SES 07 A, Navigating Shifting Geographies of Lifelong Learning Policies Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 23 SES 08 A
This contribution seeks to shed light on the complex dynamic of European governance and domestic adaptation in the adult education policy domain. Domestic adaptation (rather than implementation) captures administrative adjustments by executive governments, other interest groups, and civil society to new institutional opportunities and structures that arise within Europe, and their normative consequences (Graziano & Vink 2008). The aim of this paper is to examine Education and Training 2020 and the Renewed European Agenda for adult learning, two distinguishable but interrelated policy mixes, or complex intergovernmental, multi-sectoral policies that involve multiple policy goals (Del Rio & Howlett 2013), which produce new institutional opportunities and structures in the adult education policy domain, although in different ways. Grounded in political sociology, our analysis addresses the nature of these policy mixes, their historical development, and the governance mechanisms and policy instruments through which they produce policy changes. Drawing on Lascoumes & Le Galès (2007), a governance mechanism is construed as a policy process aimed at reaching specific policy objective(s) that naturalizes the effects it produces; whereas a policy instruments represents the means used to reach policy outcome(s), in the sense of more or less stable frameworks that structure collective action. The data consist of a set of policy documents, reports, and other written information available through the official websites of the European Union and its institutions, including the European Commission’s registry of committees and groups. Moreover, as both policy mixes under consideration make use of official working groups and networks as a key policy instrument, we draw on social network analysis (Wasserman & Faust 1994) to study the interactions of local, national, European and global policy actors within and across these networks. An affiliation dataset (2-mode matrix) was created, starting from data on the participation of organizations (nodes) in some official working groups (events). This analysis makes it possible to identify the network of organizations, its level of integration (or density), and the level of centrality of any single node, including its capacity of acting in the network as broker. The social network analysis is carried out through Ucinet 6 software (Borgatti, Everett & Freeman 2002). Although the analysis is still in progress we expect it to contribute novel knowledge on the ways European policy is produced and coordinated, who contributes to these processes, and how this (may) produce changes in the adult education policy domain through domestic adaptation.
Borgatti, S.P., Everett, M.G., and Freeman, L.C. (2002). Ucinet 6 for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis. Harvard, MA: Analytic Technologies. Del Rio, P., and Howlett, M. (2013). Beyond the “Tinbergen Rule” in Policy Design: Matching Tools and Goals in Policy Portfolios. Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Working Paper Series. Graziano, P., and Vink, M. P. (eds.) (2008). Europeanization: New research agendas. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Lascoumes, P., and Le Galès, P. (2007). Introduction: Understanding Public Policy through Its Instruments - From the Nature of Instruments to the Sociology of Public Policy Instrumentation. Governance 20 (1), pp. 1-21. Wasserman, S., and Faust, K. (1994). Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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