00 SES 15.2, The Moot 2019: Education and the Return of the Nation: Nationalism in the era of Global Education Policies
Although scholarship on the rise of a global education policy field has dominated education research for more than a decade, there is less emphasis and attention to national policy frames and translations of these global trends, and even less focus on the ways that national discourses travel and often shape international movements and world politics. This Moot aims to bring the question of the national back into our research inquiry, not because it has ever eclipsed, but due to the fact that it is becoming ever more central in processes of global commensuration and policy alignment. According to the Sustainable Development Goals measurement agendas, and particularly the SDG4 which aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’, national policy and statistical capacity building are a sine-qua-non of the processes of global policy alignment:
‘SDG4 targets and policy priorities should be part of existing national education policies, plans and processes. Efforts to realize SDG4 commitments should not result in parallel or separate plans or processes. SDG4 policy commitments do not exist outside of existing national policies, planning, management and monitoring processes and mechanisms. Rather, existing country-led systems, processes and mechanisms should be supported or strengthened to ensure better alignment/adaptation with global commitments’(UNESCO 2016; 19, emphasis in the original).
The Moot aims to bring together ideas around the relevance of the concepts of policy learning and translation and to juxtapose them to older, perhaps, scholarship on nationalism and the making of national identities and myths. It also invites rethinking why nationalism has become evident in domestic mobilization, protectionist policies, secessionist movements (such as Brexit), and a form of populism at odds with human and civil rights.
How can the concept of nationalism help us understand the role of the nation in being the key mediator between international policy frames and the political work that takes place in the classroom? How might contemporary phenomena, such as populism and the rise of nationalistic discourses, influence the making of national education policy agendas in the next decade? On the other hand, how can national movements renew world politics beyond narrow nationalistic pursuits? How do national policy actors shape and are shaped themselves in the continuous travels between different levels and scales of policy formation?
UNESCO (2016), Unpacking Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education 2030. In https://www.unesco.ch/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Unpacking-sdg4.pdf [6.4.19]
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