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

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International & Comparative Education Department

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International & Comparative Education Department

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International & Comparative Education Department

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Research Article

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Education Policy Analysis Archives

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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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