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Higher Education as a Form of European Integration: How Novel is the Bologna Process?


  • Anne Corbett


This paper argues that at a time in which higher education has become central to the concerns of EU institutions as well as national governments, it is helpful to understand current policy initiatives - both the spin offs from the EU’s Lisbon strategy and the intergovernmental Bologna Process – in the comparative terms of the dynamics of policy-making. Drawing on institutionalist frameworks biased towards process (Kingdon 1984, March and Olsen 1989, Barzelay 2003) and comparative historical analysis, it presents policy initiatives from the period 1955-87, including the supranational European University proposal and the Erasmus programme, as both historical events, and theorised configurations of agenda setting, alternative specification, and choice. It suggests that such a framework can be helpful to both those interested primarily in European integration and those whose interests lie in the dynamics of higher education policy-making in a multi-level setting.

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  • Anne Corbett, 2006. "Higher Education as a Form of European Integration: How Novel is the Bologna Process?," ARENA Working Papers 15, ARENA.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0226

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    multilevel governance; institutionalism; Europeanization; educational policy;

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