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Palgrave Macmillan

Global Pathways to Education

Cultural Spheres, Networks, and International Organizations

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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

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  • Focuses on the verti­cal interdepend­en­cies through carefully selected IOs, providing path-breaking and systemati­cally aligned re­search on the paradigms that IOs spread across the globe
  • Meets a growing demand for more systematic knowledge about the development and trans­formation of education sys­tems and the agency of IOs in global education govern­ance
  • Employs historical macro-data to iden­tify the national and international factors which determined the introduction of and changes to education policy
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: Global Dynamics of Social Policy (GDSP)

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About this book

In this open access volume, the editors identify the trajecto­ries and pat­terns displayed by education systems and investigate the causes of change from a global and historical perspective. The contributors argue that the emergence and de­velopment of educa­tion systems can be traced back to inherent national factors, as well as to the interna­tional diffusion of ideas.

The research presented in this volume is a wide-ranging analysis and explana­tion of the dynamics of emergence, diffusion, and change in relation to state educa­tion systems. The chapters offer an empirical investigation into whether the global diffusion of West­ern-rational educational content and organizational forms occurs as expected by neoinstitu­tionalist theory, or whether culturally specific developmen­tal paths dominate in different parts of the world.

The book will be of interest to students and researchers in various social science disci­plines,including social policy, education, sociology, political science, international relations, organizational the­ory, and economics.

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Table of contents (11 chapters)


“A central problematic for education policy scholars has been to understand the relationships between path-dependent national factors and the global diffusion of ideas, particularly Western rationalism, in constituting education policy. This collection proffers an empirically-based account that accepts to some extent the isomorphism argument of neo-institutionalists, but argues that this is mediated by specific cultural orientations across and within nations, as well as by other national features.  As such, this provocative collection offers challenges to all education policy scholars and to future research agendas.” -  Bob Lingard, Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University and Emeritus Professor, University of Queensland, Australia

“This bold new book, edited by Kerstin Martens and Michael Windzio, investigates how Western ideas and institutional practices have diffused globally – and why their uptake varies across culturally distinct groups of countries. Early chapters focus on patterns of isomorphism across nations while later chapters provide important new evidence on the roles played by international organizations in the transmission of Western educational ideas and models. Later chapters provide important new research on familiar international organizations such as the OECD, the World Bank, and UNESCO – while introducing us to the roles played by two educational IOs that are less frequently studied, SEAMEO (the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization) and ICESCO (Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In a rich dialogue with the work of John Meyer the book shows convincingly how both isomorphic diffusion and cultural variation shape global governance in education.” - Karen Mundy, Professor, University of Toronto, Canada


"This is a highly important and timely edited collection on a topic of remarkable and growing significance. The book brings together the work of a dynamic research team, whose writing and influence in the field of transnational education governance cannot be over-stated. Well-theorised and featuring a plethora of empirical analyses from a range of policy actors and contexts, this book is thoroughly recommended for students and scholars interested in the field of education policy and governance in Europe and globally." - Sotiria Grek, Professor, University of Edinburgh, UK


Editors and Affiliations

  • Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) and Collaborative Research Centre 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

    Kerstin Martens

  • SOCIUM and Collaborative Research Centre 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

    Michael Windzio

About the editors

Kerstin Martens is Professor of International Relations at the Univer­sity of Bremen, Ger­many.

Michael Windzio is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bremen, Germany.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Global Pathways to Education

  • Book Subtitle: Cultural Spheres, Networks, and International Organizations

  • Editors: Kerstin Martens, Michael Windzio

  • Series Title: Global Dynamics of Social Policy

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-78884-1Published: 01 October 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-78887-2Published: 01 October 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-78885-8Published: 30 September 2021

  • Series ISSN: 2661-8672

  • Series E-ISSN: 2661-8680

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIII, 318

  • Number of Illustrations: 12 b/w illustrations, 11 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Comparative Social Policy, Education Policy, Sociology of Education

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