Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State Professionalism
Edited by Tanja Klenk and Emmanuele Pavolini
Chapter 3: Marketization and managerialization of higher education policies in a comparative perspective
The comparative analysis of higher education systems (HESs) has been traditionally based on a twofold structural distinction: the role of the state in governing the system and the way in which the systems are structured. The first distinction is drawn from Archer’s dichotomy between centralized and decentralized systems (1979). Centralized systems are characterized by the strong and pervasive role of the state in governing the higher education system. This is achieved through policies, detailed regulations, bureaucratic requirements and formal controls of conformity for all the institutions constituting the HES. Centralized HESs are largely present in European continental countries. The decentralized systems, on the contrary, are characterized by a less invasive role played by the state which provides the system with general framework policies implemented by institutions with a high degree of autonomy, albeit ultimately supervised by the state. Decentralized systems were typically embodied by Great Britain. Between these two ideal-typical polarities, other systems display different degrees of autonomy and centralization (for example the German HES is decentralized at the national-federal level, but centralized at the Land level). Another widely used typology for classifying governance structures of HESs is the well-known Clark’s Triangle (Clark 1983) according to which HESs can be distinguished by the prevalence of state, market, or academic oligarchy as coordination and governance structures.
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