Leapfrogging national governments: How the European Commission shapes higher education policy
Higher education is usually regarded as “one of the last bastions of national sovereignty” in the European Union, say Agnes Batory (Central European University) and Nicole Lindstrom (University of York). But the last decade has seen still seen a strong convergence of national practices in higher education. In the current issue of Governance, Batory and Lindstrom explain why. The European Commission has used financial incentives to shape the behavior of universities, often turning them into agents that lobby national governments for its preferred policies. EC initiatives are often portrayed as “soft” devices for coordination. This is mistaken, Batory and Lindstrom say. Sometimes the power of the purse allows the EC to operate “in coercive mode,” preempting policy debate at the national level. Read the article.