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Global policy mobilities in federal education systems




globalization, policy mobility, federal education systems


As an introduction to this special issue, this paper presents a discussion of different theoretical and methodological challenges in analyzing the ways in which global policy flows are shaping education policies and practices within and across federal systems. We argue that the dynamics between the global and the federal systems are complex, non-linear, multi-directional and ever changing. We start by discussing the notion of global policy mobilities and the kinds of theoretical approaches that we suggest can be productive in understanding the flows of power in education across spaces. We then move on to conceptualize “the federal” in education. While global flows do not lead toward universal results or linear policy convergence across nations, we also stress the necessity to think about federalism not as singular but in the plural, as federalisms, given the different configurations and historical developments of federal systems of education. To conclude, we highlight four analytic tensions and new directions for future research on global policy mobilities in federal education systems.


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Author Biographies

Jason Beech, The University of Melbourne

Jason Beech is Associate Professor in Global Policy in Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Visiting Professor at Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires where he holds a UNESCO Chair in Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship. He is associate editor of Education Policy Analysis Archives. His research focuses on the globalization of knowledge and policies related to education. He has also written and is passionate about the challenges of educating for global citizenship and a sustainable future.

Laura Engel, The George Washington University

Laura Engel is Professor of International Education and International Affairs at The George Washington University. Laura focuses on global education policy trends in federal systems, including national and cross-national studies on global citizenship education. Her latest book is Sociological Foundations of Education (Bloomsbury, 2022), and she has recent journal articles in Educational ResearcherComparative Education Review, and British Journal of Sociology of Education.

Glenn C. Savage, The University of Melbourne

Glenn C. Savage is an Associate Professor of Education Policy and the Future of Schooling at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. He currently leads an Australian Research Council project that is examining policy co-design and collaboration between governments in the development of national schooling reforms. His latest book is The Quest for Revolution in Australian Schooling Policy (Routledge, 2021).

Bob Lingard, Australian Catholic University and The University of Queensland

Dr. Bob Lingard is a Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University and Emeritus Professor at The University of Queensland. His most recent books include, Exploring education policy through newspapers and social media (Routledge, 2023), co-authored with Aspa Baroutsis, and Global-national networks in education: Primary education, social enterprises and Teach for Bangladesh (Bloomsbury, 2022), co-authored with Rino Wiseman Adhikary and Ian Hardy.




How to Cite

Beech, J., Engel, L., Savage, G. C., & Lingard, B. (2023). Global policy mobilities in federal education systems. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31.



Global Policy Mobilities in Federal Education Systems