Regional intergovernmental organizations in the Global South: Emerging education policy nodes between the global and the national




Educational development, Educational regionalism, Education policy analysis, Regional intergovernmental organizations, Strategic plan


Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs) play unclear roles in education policy making and transfer. Much comparative education scholarship on the topic focuses on exploring the interplay between global and local/national actors in education policy, overlooking regional dimensions. To deepen our understanding, we analyzed the strategic plans of four RIGOs in Africa, the Arab and Islamic worlds, and Southeast Asia. Qualitative policy analysis is employed to reveal the roles RIGOs aspire to play in educational development. Of the what, how, and why dimensions of policy, this study focuses on the last two, as they reveal the rationales the RIGOs provided to justify their organizational positioning, their strategies to contribute to education policy, and their mediations with the national and the global. Our analysis has showed that RIGOs position themselves as significant actors in educational development in their respective regions, playing several complementary and sometimes conflicting roles. Analysis via institutional theory of the interplay of national, regional, and global contexts has revealed organizational isomorphism, decoupling between policy and practice, expansive structuration, otherhood engagements, and scientization and rationalization of organizational work. The RIGOs view themselves as elaborators of global models and, simultaneously, promoters of regionalism. Implications for education policy and research are identified.



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Author Biographies

Teklu Abate Bekele, The American University in Cairo

Teklu Abate Bekele is Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education. His research interest areas include emerging higher education-society engagements and partnerships in Africa, international organizations and educational development, and emerging knowledge production cultures and context analysis. He serves as Regional (Africa) Editor for the Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education, and Board Member of the Nordic Comparative and International Education Society.

Mustafa Toprak, The American University in Cairo

Mustafa Toprak is an Assistant Professor of Educational Administration in the Department of International and Comparative Education at the American University in Cairo. Toprak specializes in management of emotions and behavior at schools, teachers’ roles in education reform, policy and decision-making in educational systems, and migrant education. He currently serves as the regional editor for Bloomsbury digital series on education and childhood.

Ibrahim M. Karkouti, The American University in Cairo

Ibrahim M. Karkouti is an independent thinker, a young scholar, and a life-long learner who recently defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Hartford, CT - USA. His research focuses on diversity issues in higher education, refugee education, and the types of social support K-12 teachers need to implement reform.

Thomas Wolsey, The American University in Cairo

Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Ed.D., teaches graduate courses in research and literacy at The American University in Cairo. He leads professional development for teachers in Guatemala, Mexico, China, on the Hopi Reservation and throughout the United States, among other places.  He is the author or co-author of nine books for teachers and teacher educators with two more in development. Dr. Wolsey has developed training materials for the California Department of Education, TextProject, San Diego State University, and North County (San Diego) Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program. His specialties include exploring intersections of literacy and technology, middle grades and secondary literacy practices, teacher preparation, and green school design. 




How to Cite

Bekele, T. A., Toprak, M., Karkouti, I. M., & Wolsey, T. (2021). Regional intergovernmental organizations in the Global South: Emerging education policy nodes between the global and the national. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(August - December), 130.