WTO/GATS and the Global Politics of Higher Education: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

WTO/GATS and the Global Politics of Higher Education

1st Edition

By Antoni Verger


248 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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Since the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) was created in 1995, there has been international pressure towards the liberalization of education all over the world, as well as new challenges to the traditional internationalization rationale in the field of higher education. Nevertheless, education liberalization under the GATS is also a contested process. Public universities, teachers unions, development NGOs and other education stakeholders have opposed and campaigned against the GATS in different countries and at a range of levels from local to global.

Based on intensive fieldwork in the WTO headquarters and on two case studies (Argentina and Chile), Antoni Verger opens the black-box of the GATS negotiations in the field of education. His well-documented work explores in-depth how domestic actors and interests are key to understanding the constitution of the global education liberalization process entailed by the GATS as well as the opposition to this process in certain places. This book is crucial reading to anyone with an interest in the future of higher education.


"…this book offers the field of comparative education an excellent model for studying and theorizing complex multilateralism in education using literatures from the field of political science, sociology, and international relations."--Comparative Educational Review

Table of Contents


1. GATS, Higher Education and Global Governance Studies

Block I: GATS in Context

2. Education in the WTO/GATS Context

3. GATS, Markets and Higher Education

Block II: Gats Results and Procedures

4. Negotiating the GATS: A Multi-Level System

5. State of Play and Trends of the Negotiations

Block III: Inside the Negotiations

6. GATS and Education: The Passionate Debate

7. For or Against Education Liberalization: The International Struggle

8. Negotiating Education in the WTO: Key Ideas and Actors

9. National Case Studies: Argentina and Chile


10. Explaining the GATS Results in Education

Appendices Appendix 1: Edu-GATS Values Appendix 2: Argentinean Education Liberalization in Mercosur Appendix 3: Chilean Education in FTAs Appendix 4: The Reverse Boomerang Effect

About the Author

Antoni Verger is a researcher and lecturer at the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies (AMIDSt) of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. His principal research topics are globalization and education politics, as well as higher education and international development. He was awarded a PhD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).

About the Series

Studies in Higher Education

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General