implications for studying adult and lifelong education
Drawing on contributions from state theory, European studies and education, this chapter problematises how the changing nature of the state restricts or amplifies member states’ political space. In particular, part one outlines how changes that occurred with the European Union (EU) led to the subsidiarity principle in education to be bypassed, generating a new scenario for European policy work in education. Although this process, generally captured under the label of Europeanisation, has reinforced a shift in legitimate authority from member states to EU institutions, my argument is that the authoritative backing of political agencies from within member states is still an important aspect of EU policy work. Against this scenario, part two pays close attention to the organisational means by which the state works, so to capture the changing nature of legitimate authority by and within member states. Here I argue that European policy work in education is increasingly a matter of individual, organisational and intersystemic negotiation and coordination across member states (and its array of political agencies) and the EU as a pooling sovereignty (and its diverse political institutions). The chapter concludes with a few considerations on the implications of bringing the state back into the study of adult and lifelong education policies in Europe. Specifically, this implies raising a rather different set of questions to those addressed when either excluding or underestimating member states’ political space.
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Adult Education Policy and the European Union: Theorethical and Methodological Perspectives, 2014, p. 73-90
Adult education; lifelong learning; policy; research methodologies; European Union