Projects, Processes, Politics
Edited by Susan L. Robertson, Kris Olds, Roger Dale and Que Anh Dang
Chapter 7: Shaping an ASEM (Higher) Education Area: hybrid sectoral regionalism from within
There is now a growing literature on regions and regionalisms, and on the role of the higher education sector in regional projects, such as Europe. The main thrust of this chapter is to bring these two into conversation with each other through examining how a region and sector relate to each other in terms of the consequences of sectoral cooperation for the region, on the one hand, and of regional cooperation on the sector, on the other. My entry point is the construction of a new ‘regional sectoral space’ between Asia and Europe, designated as an Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) Education Area by the ASEM Ministers of Education in 2011. In particular, the chapter seeks answers to the following questions: How and through what process has the ASEM education process emerged as a region-building project? How and why was higher education made a key priority on the ASEM education agenda? Three aspects to this distinctive regionalizing process will be developed in this chapter. The first is that the ASEM Education Area is a hybrid in that it develops traits from novel combinations of the Bologna Process, on the one hand, and Asian experiences on the other, through its regional educational cooperation activities. The second is that it is sectoral. That is, it refers to those processes in the higher education sector which are distinct from, and thus different to, ASEM cooperation in other sectors (such as trade, public health, environment, transport or security). The third, regionalism from within, is used to explain the distinct features of the ASEM education process that have been shaped by the national interests of member countries and the inter-subjective knowledge which has emerged from within the community of actors who are endogenous to the higher education sector.
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