Discursive contestations and pluriversal futures: A decolonial analysis of educational policies in the United Arab Emirates





Global policies, educational policy transfer, United Arab Emirates, decolonial perspectives


Most research on global transformations in education has focused on the actions of political and economic elites. As a result, attempts to contest and subvert globally circulated policies at subnational levels have received less attention. To address this gap, this study focuses on discursive contestations around educational reforms in the United Arab Emirates. Drawing on the theoretical framework of decoloniality (Mignolo, 2011), I explore how Western interventions into educational policies are justified by dominant discourses and challenged by their opponents through public media in the United Arab Emirates. Even though alternative discourses provide constructions of education useful for charting the trajectories of pluriversal futures, the struggle between different voices resolves in favor of global “best” practices. This happens not because they are more rational or universal, but because the voices of dissent are disconnected and fragmented. The significance of this paper lies in employing decolonial lens in the analysis of globally circulated policies and in attending to the voices that become marginalized in the implementation of global reforms. 


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Author Biography

Elena Aydarova, Auburn University

Elena Aydarova is an Assistant Professor of Social Foundations at the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University. Her interdisciplinary research examines the interactions between global social change and the work of teachers, teaching, and teacher education through the lens of equity and social justice. Her projects have explored teacher education reforms in Russia and the US, internationalization of education, teacher retention, as well as commercialization of teacher preparation. Throughout her career, Dr. Aydarova has taught in the United States, Ukraine, China, and the United Arab Emirates.




How to Cite

Aydarova, E. (2017). Discursive contestations and pluriversal futures: A decolonial analysis of educational policies in the United Arab Emirates. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 111. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.3063