CFP: Global Policy Mobilities in Federal Educational Systems


EPAA/AAPE Call for Papers


Global Policy Mobilities in Federal Educational Systems


Guest Editors:  Jason Beech (Monash University), Laura Engel (George Washington University), Bob Lingard (University of Queensland), and Glenn Savage (University of Western Australia)


Special Topic: Global Policy Mobilities in Federal Educational Systems


Education Policy Analysis Archives/Archivos Analíticos de Política Educativa (EPAA/AAPE) announces a call for papers for a special issue that seeks to contribute to scholarship on how global policy flows are influencing education policies and practices within and across federal educational systems, and the implications of these dynamics for understanding contemporary power and political relations in education.


A strong theme in the ‘policy mobilities’ literature is that national contexts, with diverse schooling systems and histories, are adopting similar policy approaches as a result of global sharing, learning and comparison. Since the 2000s, this is especially the case with regards to the adoption of ‘standards-based reforms’, new ‘data infrastructures’ that rely upon and produce commensurable data, and new practices of ‘policy alignment’ constructed around “evidence-based practices” that tell us ‘what works’. It is also clear that policy ideas and practices are being translated and assembled within nations in distinct ways. 


A diverse but related set of theoretical, conceptual and empirically grounded conversations in the fields of education policy studies, comparative education, sociology of education and critical geography are using a number of connected theories and concepts to map these global flows, and how they are transformed and enacted in different localities. Concepts such as ‘policy assemblages’, ‘policy scapes’, ‘education ensembles’, ‘scale-craft’ and ‘topological’ understandings of policy and space, to name just a few, are promising ways to understand the complexities of the contemporary dynamic geographies of power/knowledge in education.


However, within this literature, relatively less attention has been paid to the challenges of comparing federal systems, in which subnational governments typically maintain responsibility for schooling. Indeed, the emphasis on the national scale can be highly problematic in federal systems, not only because subnational differences are often pronounced, but also because the political and policy agendas of national and subnational governments are often distinct. Furthermore, by treating the national scale as the main unit for comparison, researchers of federations risk both obscuring political and policy complexities at play in systems that are defined by multi-level governance; and reifying and over-simplifying ‘the national’ by failing to account for the role subnational spaces play in determining education policies.


This special issue will bring together scholars seeking to analyze how policies move, mutate and manifest within and across federal systems, and the implications of these dynamics for understanding how contemporary policy spaces are being created and recreated in the interaction between global, national and local actors. We are particularly interested in papers that extend and renew the conceptual tools and frameworks at play in policy mobility literature and the analysis of federalism in education. Ideally, papers should be comparative in nature. Single case studies will be considered if they include discussions on how that case is conceptually and/or methodologically generalizable, and contributes to the overall understanding of global/local power dynamics in federal systems.


Abstracts will be accepted in English, and all articles will be evaluated through a double-blind process. 


Submission Information: Interested contributors are invited to submit 500-word abstracts aligned with the special issue theme for review by April 1, 2021. Abstracts should be submitted electronically through the EPAA website, in the section Global Policy Mobilities in Federal Educational Systems and follow the Journal’s submission guidelines.



Abstract submission deadline: April 1, 2021

Editorial decisions (on abstracts): May 1, 2021

Submission deadline (full papers submitted to journal system): September 1, 2021

Review of papers; Revised manuscript deadline: January 22, 2022

Anticipated publication: April 2022


Questions concerning this call for papers should be directed to the guest editors:


Jason Beech, Monash University,

Laura Engel, George Washington University,

Bob Lingard, University of Queensland,

Glenn Savage, University of Western Australia,