Chapter 3: Global Regulatory Governance
INTRODUCTION In the Introduction and in Chapters 1 and 2, we outlined some of the processes that underpinned the growth of transnational convergence in university governance, such as more autonomous models of organization, growing governmental and other notions of universities’ social relevancy, more market-like mechanisms, internationalization, policies of institutional differentiation, and notions of external and increasingly formalized regulation. As part of our account we pointed to a range of non-governmental and wider social processes underlying similarities in university models around the world, such as the remarkable global uniformity in the rise and fall of academic subjects in university provision, and the influence of world blueprints or ‘scripts’ in higher education policymaking. We also outlined explanations – cultural, economic and political – for these developments. These are drawn out a little more here before proceeding with a further analysis of regulatory governance. Utilizing the work of Gilardi (2008), and particularly Jordana and LeviFaur (2006), on the diffusion of specialized regulatory agencies around the world and across many policy sectors, we draw on their approaches to offer a distinction between three main explanatory approaches for global similarities in university governance. The assumption is that many of the common arrangements in higher education systems that have emerged are linked rather than separate phenomena. THREE THEORIES One theory we may offer for convergence in transnational university governance is that of economic competition, and it runs as follows. The state’s dependency on successful forms of advanced capitalism, and its belief that universities are critical instruments for achieving...
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