Differentiated Integration in the Field of Higher Education: Between Theory and Practices of (Non)Integration

  • Amélia Veiga
  • António Magalhães
Part of the Issues in Higher Education book series (IHIGHER)


This chapter analyses the potential of the theory of differentiated integration (DI) in the field of higher education research. As a conceptual narrative, the theory of DI proposes models to explain flexible integration based on ‘time’, ‘space’ and ‘matter’. Drawing on a meta-analysis of published research about the Bologna process, to the chapter aims to question the relevance of the theory of DI in explaining the processes of European integration in higher education. The analysis showed that as a theory, DI is not greatly helpful in explaining institutional integration, it appears to have little persuasive grip in promoting integration and, ultimately, risks making non-integration legitimate.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Intervention in Education (CIIE)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES)MatosinhosPortugal

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