Handbook of European Policies
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Handbook of European Policies

Interpretive Approaches to the EU

Edited by Hubert Heinelt and Sybille Münch

This definitive Handbook addresses the current lack of research into European policymaking and development using an interpretive perspective. Questioning areas that mainstream approaches tend to neglect, contributors target the ways in which ideas, arguments and discourses shape policies in the institutional context of the EU.
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Chapter 14: European higher education policy

Dorota Dakowska and Kathia Serrano Velarde


This chapter sheds light on the construction of a European higher education policy. The authors take a closer look at the structural arrangements and actor-constellations that have developed over time and explain the political intricacies of European higher education policy. It is thereby shown that an interpretive perspective on educational policymaking provides an adequate tool for understanding how political practice undermines the formal division of competences between the Commission and the member states, to capture the emergence and transnational circulation of narratives concerning higher education reform and to understand why European governments feel increasingly bound by rules developed outside of the realm of domestic policy.

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