Comparative and International Education

Our research unit of Comparative & International Education looks at the diffusion and adoption of educational concepts, ideologies, reforms, models, technologies, and practices across societies, with particular focus on how various actors navigate processes of cultural and political translation, appropriation, hybridization, contestation, and resistance; as well as on the multiple tensions and contradictions that arise from these processes. We work both on contemporary and historical developments, and have been conducting research primarily in and on Northern, Southern, and Western Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and North and Latin America.

We are specifically interested in questions such as:

  • How do processes of globalization and indigenization affect families, students, schools, teachers, universities, and academic fields? How do different groups within a society – elite, middle class, and marginalized actors – deal with these challenges?
  • In which ways, and for what reasons, do certain international educational ideas, policies, and practices gain traction locally, while others are ignored or rejected?
  • How does the different positioning in the hierarchies of the world system give rise to different challenges and pressures for educational actors at the national and regional levels?
  • How is the educational sector intertwined with other sectors, in particular those of the economy and politics, and how does that affect cross-sectional borrowing and lending?