Where do we go from here?

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Where do we go from here? . Globalization, education and the challenge of uncertainty Stephen Carney, Roskilde University. Framing Uncertainty. Modernity intensifying & spreading ( Giddens , Beck, Friedman) Modernity diversifying ( Appadurai , Castells) Modernity unraveling - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Theorizing globalization in education policy research

Where do we go from here?

Globalization, education and the challenge of uncertainty

Stephen Carney, Roskilde University

1Framing UncertaintyModernity intensifying & spreading(Giddens, Beck, Friedman)

Modernity diversifying(Appadurai, Castells)

Modernity unraveling(Wallerstein, Hardt & Negri)

Modernity as abjection(Bauman, Ferguson)

2Some Central ConcernsThe changing role/ nature of the state

- State spatiality and reach (as potential)- Rescaling (neoliberalism as decline)

The prospects for political action

- Globalization connecting the multitude - Consumer society alienating the mass

Culture, place, locality

- Imagination and ideoscape- Cosmopolitanism and anti-membership

3Multi-level Analyses and Comparison

4Three ExperimentsPolicyscape (Denmark, Nepal, China)

Eduscape (Denmark, South Korea, Zambia)

Youth and schooling (Nepal)

Exploring flows across spaces:

Exploring flows within a single site:

5Responses to Policyscape - breaks from the legacy of methodological nationalism (Gita Steiner-Khamsi)

theoreticial innovation (Robert Cowen)

spatial fetishism! (Susan Robertson)

6A Different Type of CritiqueQuestion:

- Are we dealing with uncertainty, denying or embracing it?


What counts as data in the global cultural economy?

7Asia in MiniatureTowards an analytic of noise:

a mode of analysis that would take seriously both the fact that signifying actors might have social reasons not to establish a bond of communication but to rupture it, and the way that stylistic messages take on a social significance whether they are understood or not through a social process of construal of the partially unintelligible.

(James Ferguson, Expectations of Modernity 1999)8It is in the silences that the music is made. (Debussy)

9QuestionsWhere do we do comparative education research under conditions of profound global interconnectivity?

What counts as data in the emerging global cultural economy?

What type of progressive project is possible in such research?

10Thank you!

11Unframing Modern Policy ResearchSubjectivity as becomingIn assemblagesAs movement

Non-state philosophy Minor literature (Deleuzes)Beyond power and production (Baudrillard)

Social/ epistemological - State and subject as investments Morality and ethics (Nietzsche)

12Beyond Northern Theory?

Am I considering global society through the lens of metropolitan society?

Is sociology (only) Northern Theory? Do we reify diverse social action through the lens of the Western concepts/ experience?

Post-Modern Origins of Globalization(Lizardo & Strand, 2009)French(The social)German(The political)British(The economic)The US(The cultural/ aesthetic)13Domesticating French theorizingPost-classical theory viewed as impractical:

- too little focus on economy, state or change Global condition defined by US/ British interests:

- class (Marx)- state (Weber)- social solidarity (Durkheim)- North now seen in South

French post theorizing lingers as (practical/ politically-aware) globalization research



Mildly accepting of the breakdown of modern certainties (Bauman, Beck, Giddens, Roland Robertson etc)

Reinvented in US through Frederick Jameson (Cultural logic of late capitalism) but refracted through lens of Young Hegelianism and Marxism

Pushed in UK policy scholarship as reinvention of capitalism serving supra-state interests that can be mapped anew as a precusor to intervention (esp. Bristol group)


Empirical work becomes a scientific project to understand:

New spatializationsNew power dynamicsNew actors

VERY LITTLE OF THE ORIGINAL FRENCH (social/ subject-oriented/ epistemological) PROJECT

14The Global Cultural EconomyScapes(ethno, media, techno, finance and ideo)

Global Flows (complex, rapid, overflowing and disjunctive)

Interconnectivity of phenomena (end of centre/ periphery distinction)

(Modernity at Large, Arjun Appadurai 1996)

15Educational PolicyscapeNeo & advanced liberalism (Mitchell Dean)

Visions and values

Management and organisation

Learning processes

Neo AND advanced liberalism

Visions and values

individualized skills and competencescontent and standards supporting national goals related to the global economy private/personal ones aimed at self-realization

Management and organisation

Decentralisationsite-based management, Choiceexecutive (and responsible/ accountable) leadership

Learning processes

learner-centered pedagogy, Classroom democracyactive learning16

Different Countries, Systems, Levels

Policy Agents Technologies

DK Uni Law Boards Contracts

Nepal Community Parents SMCs schools

China CurriculumStudents PedagogySome starting points:

No attempt to capture wholes

Resistence to coherent narratives (especially that of decline)

Awareness of contradictory effects17InterconnectivitiesState spatiality (read: state)

- Strong state/ weak state- Reaching in/ reaching out

Negotiation and enactment (read: action)

- New and old voices heard- Productive and repressive power

Locality (read: culture)

- As nationalism and protest- As tradition and changeHowever.

18State Spatiality and Encompassment (a la Ferguson and Gupta)

Nepal: decentralization (as deconcentration) empowered centre!

China: LCP enabled State to reach Tibetan souls

Denmark: co-constructs EU/ OECD Knowledge Economy discourse which extends a Danish world-view (but which comes back on itself)


New voices: students contra teachers/ professors; parents contra state

Old voices: Confucian/ capitalist state; Hindu elite;

Locality (proxi for culture)

Nepal: as centralism; discrimination but new awareness of rights (and oppression through rights!)

Denmark: as demand for local participation and collective ownership

China: as silent Chinese appropriation of Tibetan ways of knowing whilst incoroprating these subjects into regional cultural economy

Other ResponsesVertical case study (Fran Vavrus)

Multi-site ethnography(George Marcus)

Anthropology of policy(Susan Wright)19

20(Comparative) Education Paradigms

All comparative research:

Comes from a tradition with underlying values and beliefs about the world

Can be seen as a representation

Some representations dominate, becoming ways of seeing AND accepted truths!

In C.E:

Rationality (logic)Progress (models)Emancipation (Utopianism)


Comparative education has never been more successfulAnd yet, comparative education has never had less to say. (Carney, S. 2010)

21Uncertainty / ComplexityIn relation to:

Schooling & education institutionsTeachers and teachingKnowledge

Old certainties collapsing; new ones hard to find:

End of political will?End of metanarratives?End of theory?