World Yearbook of Education 2012: Policy Borrowing and Lending in Education, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

World Yearbook of Education 2012

Policy Borrowing and Lending in Education, 1st Edition

Edited by Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Florian Waldow


444 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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The phenomenon of "travelling reforms" has become an object of great professional interest and intensive academic scrutiny. The fact that the same set of educational reforms is transferred from one country to another made scholars wonder whether policy transfer has increased as a result of globalization. But also the fact that policy makers increasingly import "best practices "and international standards and use them as a tool to accelerate reform has captured the imagination of many that deal with policy studies. An international comparative perspective is key for understanding why reforms travel from one corner of the world to another. Not surprisingly, the study of policy borrowing and lending constitutes one of the core research topics of comparative policy studies; a new area of research that links comparative education with policy studies.


The World Yearbook of Education 2012 brings together a diverse range of perspectives on education policy through contributions from internationally renowned authors. It reflects on the way policy borrowing and lending is reconfiguring the world of education and offers a new collection of insights into the changes occurring across the world. It particularly focuses on:

    • The political and economic reasons for policy borrowing,
    • The agencies, international networks and regimes that instigate policy change,
    • The process of borrowing and lending
    • The impact of these systems, agendas and institutions on indigenous settings.

This book will prove invaluable to researchers of globalization and to policy experts, especially those interested in comparative and international educational studies. It is also essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students and anyone involved in the sociology, economy or history of education.


Gita Steiner-Khamsi is Professor of Comparative and International Education at Teachers College Columbia University, New York, US.

Florian Waldow is Research Director at the University of Münster, Germany.



'The 2012 World Yearbook of Education is a must-read, not only for scholars interested in global education policy, but also for anyone who wants to understand the scope and nature of educational change in the global era.' Antoni Verger, Comparative Education Review, 2013.

'The book offers a comprehensive, insightful, and nuanced examination of education policy transformation in the global era and highlights the complexity of political, economic, and social contexts within which educational changes currently take place.' Antoni Verger, Comparative Education Review, 2013.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Understanding Policy Borrowing and Lending, Building Comparative Policy Studies Gita Steiner-Khamsi Part 1. Agencies of Transfer 2. Toward a Critical Grammar of Education Policy Movements Roger Dale and Susan L. Robertson 3. Learning from Meetings and Comparison: A Critical Examination of the Policy Tools of Transnationals Sotiria Grek 4. Toward Post-Bureaucratic Modes of Governance: A European Perspective Christian Maroy 5. Educational Accountability and Global Governmentality Noah W. Sobe 6. Webs of Borrowing and Lending: Social Networks in Vocational Education in Republican China Barbara Schulte Part 2. Externalisation and the Politics of Policy Borrowing and Lending 7. Reimagining Attraction and ‘Borrowing’ in Education: Introducing a Political Production Model Jeremy Rappleye 8. Bringing a Political ‘Bite’ to Educational Transfer Studies: Cultural Politics of PISA and the OECD in Japanese Education Reform Keita Takayama 9. International Benchmarking with the Best: The Varied Role of the State in the Quest for Regional Education Hubs in Malaysia and Hong Kong Ka Ho Mok 10. Policy Borrowing and the Rise of a Vocational Education and Training System: The Case of Switzerland Philipp Gonon 11. Education Policy Borrowing Across African Borders: Histories of Learner-Centred Education in Botswana and South Africa Linda Chisholm Part 3. Selective Borrowing and the Local Adaptation of Imported Reforms 12. Contested Meanings of Educational Borrowing Iveta Silova 13. Teacher License Renewal System: Global and Local Influences on Teacher Accountability Policy in Japan Motoko Akiba and Kazuhiko Shimizu 14. The Transformation of Education Policy in Israel Julia Resnik 15. In the Shadow of Global Discourses: Gender, Education and Modernity in the Arabian Peninsula Natasha Ridge 16. Conditional Cash Transfers: Paying to Keep Children in School and Conquering the World. Three Selected Case Studies Michelle Morais de Sá e Silva Part 4. Diffusion, Travelling Reforms and Policyscapes 17. Imagining Globalisation: Educational Policyscapes Stephen Carney 18. Policy Tourism and Policy Borrowing in Education: A Trans-Atlantic Case Study Geoff Whitty 19. Flowing Discourses and Border Crossing: The Slogan of ‘Respect for Diversity’ in Latin America Jason Beech and Emmanuel Lista 20. Facilitating Transfer: International Organisations as Central Nodes for Policy Diffusion Anja P. Jakobi Conclusions 21. Standardisation and Legitimacy: Two Central Concepts in Research on Educational Borrowing and Lending Florian Waldow

About the Editors

Gita Steiner-Khamsi is Professor of Comparative and International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA.

Florian Waldow is Research Director at the University of Münster, Germany.

About the Series

World Yearbook of Education

Examining a different topical subject each year, these fascinating books put forward a wide range of perspectives and dialogue from all over the world. With the best and most pivotal work of leading educational thinkers and writers from 1965 to the present day, these essential reference titles provide a complete history of the development of education around the globe. Available individually or in library-ready sets, this is the indispensable atlas of education, mapping ever changing aspects of theory, policy, teaching and learning.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Comparative