News from Project A05


In a joint edited volume the quantitative projects of CRC 1342 investigate if and how the global diffusion of a wide range of social policy programmes occurs through different network dimensions.

"Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies", edited by Michael Windzio, Ivo Mossig, Fabian Besche-Truthe, and Helen Seitzer, is the CRC 1342’s sixth volume in the Global Dynamics of Social Policy series published with Palgrave Macmillan. On 272 pages the authors analyse the introduction of a wide range of social policy programmes – work-injury insurance, compulsory education, basis adult education, public health care, public long-term care, family policy, and antidiscrimination legislation. They use data reaching back as far as 1880 and look for the influence of global networks on the diffusion of these policies. In this perspective, networks of global trade, colonial history, similarity in culture, and spatial proximity are regarded as "pipe structures," or structural backbones, of the diffusion process.

The overall findings reveal that the importance of international linkages captured by different network types is not homogeneous across the social policies examined. "The findings suggest that spatial proximity is the most relevant network in this regard," Carina Schmitt and Herbert Obinger write in their summary of book. "Geographical proximity implies strong international linkages in many respects such as cross-border migration, cultural ties, and trade relations. Moreover, all these linkages are indicative of intensive cross-border communication, which is widely seen as a main prerequisite for policy diffusion." Interestingly, neither colonial ties nor trade relations have been identified as important explanatory factors.

All chapters of this book also looked at the most important domestic factors that have contributed to the introduction of the respective social policy programmes, since only the interplay between international interdependencies and national factors explains the adoption and spread of social policies.

Below you can find a brief summary of the findings for the individual social policy programmes

Work-Injury Programmes

Nate Breznau and Felix Lanver have identified state formation and democratization processes as key driving factors for the introduction of work injury programmes. Spatial proximity and ties in the trade network also have a positive but smaller effect.

Compulsory Education

Helen Seitzer, Fabian Besche-Truthe, and Michael Windzio found that the cultural similarity network was consistently significant in the diffusion of compulsory education. Colonial legacies and trade networks on the other hand did not show significant results. "Research on education policy diffusion should not ignore economic factors”, the authors write, "but should include cultural factors in addition to the 'usual suspects'."

Adult Basic Education

Cultural similarity has no robust influence in the case of ABE, Fabian Besche-Truthe writes. "All the results lead me to believe in a diffusion process that might not be fully erratic but is also not structured through interdependencies between countries," he interprets his data.

Healthcare Systems

Trade networks cannot explain policy diffusion in this case, Alexander Polte, Sebastian Haunss, Achim Schmid, Gabriela de Carvalho, and Heinz Rothgang conclude. Nor do the links created through cultural similarity and colonial ties offer a universal explanation of healthcare system introduction. "Based on our knowledge of healthcare systems around the world, we actually assume that it is more likely the type than the timing of the system introduction that is influenced through transnational policy diffusion networks," the author team writes. The introduction of healthcare systems mainly occurred in economically prosperous countries before WWII, the effect of GDP decreases in subsequent periods. In addition, the effect of spatial proximity decreases over time, whereas the effect of trade networks seems to increase.

Long-Term Care Systems

Johanna Fischer, Alexander Polte, and Meika Sternkopf have identified several factors which advance the introduction of LTC systems – noting that we are still witnessing the early phase of diffusion in this social policy field. Aside from geographic proximity, there seems to be no horizontal diffusion via networks. Rather, the introduction of long-term care systems depends on problem pressure (population 75+), political empowerment of women, GDP per capita, and levels of democratization.

Family Policy

Paid maternity leave is confirmed as a showcase for the agenda-setting power of the ILO. Colonial and other imperial relations, Tobias Böger, Keonhi Son, and Simone Tonelli have found, play an important role in the origin of other family policies outside of Western Europe, e.g. the introduction of workplace childcare facilities. Family allowances are spurred by low fertility rates. 

Antidiscrimination Legislation in Employment and Occupation

With the exception of the geographical proximity network, the networks examined by Jenny Hahs do not play a significant role as a pipeline for diffusion. "The influence of ILO membership slows down the effect of ratification more than it supports it," Hahs concludes. "Surprisingly, the influence of the national de jure status of antidiscrimination rights is completely irrelevant. This supports a decoupling of transnational and national regulation in the field of antidiscrimination rights."

Workplace Antidiscrimination Regulations for the LGBTQ+ Community

Domestic factors, mainly the democratization index and the gender equality index have a very strong positive impact on the introduction of antidiscrimination regulations, Helen Seitzer writes in her contribution. "The most interesting result of the analysis is the negative effect of the cultural spheres network. Countries sharing cultural characteristics do not cause contagion, in contrast, it slows the diffusion down. However, this might be the case for only some countries."

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Windzio, Michael; Mossig, Ivo; Besche-Truthe, Fabian; Seitzer, Helen (Hg.), 2022: Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, doi:10.1007%2F978-3-030-83403-6


Contact:
Fabian Besche-Truthe
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57066
E-Mail: fbesche@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Ivo Mossig
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 / 421 / 218 67410
E-Mail: mossig@uni-bremen.de

Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57084
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58629
E-Mail: mwindzio@uni-bremen.de

Recent GLOBED graduate Cherine Sabry, co-supervised by CRC member Kerstin Martens, presents her findings at AEMS 2021 symposium at Indiana University.

Cherine Sabry has recently graduated from the GLOBED (Global Education Policies for Development) Masters programme, jointly offered by the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain), Universität Bremen (Germany) and the University of Cyprus. She has written her thesis (2nd supervisor Kerstin Martens of CRC 1342 project A05) on regional education organisations in the Arab world, focusing on the case of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).

She presents her findings today at the 2021 Virtual Symposium on Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS). She reveals new insights regarding the role that regional organisations play in the design of education policy in the Arab and Muslim world, and how these policies are shaped by the interaction between regional and global IOs. Using a post-colonial framework for the analysis, Sabry has analysed ALESCO’s publications and publications by its partner organisations. The data was complemented by interviews with current and former ALECSO staff.

In her analysis Sabry found that the ALECSO is unmoored between two trends that pull it in different directions – on the one hand ALECSO aims to counter Western hegemony in the region and to promote and preserve the Arab culture and language; on the other hand the undeniable dominance of certain global IOs influence ALECSO’s work, so that it emulates global IOs, e.g. in using global guidelines and criteria to measure educational quality. This inconsistent strategy, combined with the lack of qualified staff, Sabry found, leads to a decline of the role ALECSO is playing in shaping education policy in the Arab world.

You can download a video of Cherine Sabry’s presentation that has been recorded previously: Regional Education Organizations in the Arab World


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67498
E-Mail: martensk@uni-bremen.de

Keonhi Son, Helen Seitzer
Keonhi Son, Helen Seitzer
Seitzer wrote her doctoral thesis in project A05 on transnational education policy, Son in project A06 on the inclusiveness of maternity leave programmes worldwide.

Helen Seitzer defended her PhD thesis on "Conceptualising the Transational Education Policymaking Process from a Relational Perspective" at the beginning of October. She has already published parts of her work in international journals.

Keonhi Son defended her thesis ("The Influence of the ILO Maternity Protection Conventions on the historical development of paid maternity leave in the world") on 25 October 2021. Son argues that informal sector workers, especially women, in the Global South are excluded from the application of international labour standards because of the way states translate and implement these standards. Son was able to test this argument using a database on paid maternity leave in 165 countries between 1883 and 2018, which she had built in collaboration with other members of the A06 project.

Further defences of doctoral theses in CRC 1342 will follow in the coming days and weeks.


Contact:
Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57084
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

Keonhi Son
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58541
E-Mail: son@uni-bremen.de

It was the first CRC 1342 event with international guests in Bremen since the the first lockdown in the pandemic.

On Friday, October 8, 2021, the CRC project A05 hosted an international workshop on "Developments and Changes in Education Systems across Global 'Cultural Spheres'" in Bremen. The event took place in a hybrid format with about 20 participants present on the scene. For the CRC 1342 it was the first workshop since the beginning of the pandemic that was attended by international guests in Bremen.

The workshop was structured in four slots, focussing on Education policies and reforms, School autonomy, Expertise and skills, as well as Education and culture. Each of the nine presentation was followed by an in-depth feedback by a discussant and an open discussion with the audience.

Patricia Bromley (et al.) from Stanford University looked at global causes for education reforms worldwide by analyzing the changing role of the World Bank and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in 147 countries between 1960 and 2017. In this period, Bromley found a sharp drop in the levels of national education reforms. She also found evidence of changing power dynamics: The influence of World Bank loans in promoting education reform declined over time, while the influence of INGOs grew.

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio (all CRC 1342) presented their concept of Cultural Spheres and their influence on the diffusion of compulsory education around the world.  Countries can be tied by sharing a multitude of cultural characteristics, defined by a variety of variables like dominant religion(s), dominant language, colonial history, gender relations, or civil freedom. The result is a fuzzy typology of cultural spheres. The authors’ hypothesis is that the introduction and configuration of state education correspond to world regions and cultural spheres. And in line with this expectation, makro-statistical analysis of the introduction dates of compulsory education shows that cultural spheres considerably mediate the diffusion of compulsory education.

Michael Windzio (CRC 1342) then presented the results of an explorative study on the effects of culture on the gender gap in education, i.e. the probability of women getting only little/low level education. By drawing on the World Value Survey and on its data on secular and emancipative data in particular, Windzio defines eight country classes. His statistical analysis shows that “culture matters” for the gender education gap – countries belonging to the traditional religious class show a higher tendency towards low education, and women in these countries are considerably disadvantaged.

Gerard Ferrer and Antoni Verger (both Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) looked at school autonomy and accountability. According to their findings, market-oriented accountability systems tend to have higher levels of autonomy. There is some evidence on the convergence of certain policies of school autonomy and accountability at the level of practice: there seems to be evidence of convergence of school autonomy policies (staff, school budget and curriculum) and robust evidence of convergence of autonomy policies on school admission, derived from an increase of the selection practices based on the students’ record.

Michael Dobbins (University of Konstanz) and Dennis Niemann (CRC 1342) introduced a refined approach to look at school autonomy by presenting four ideal-types of school autonomy: the civic participation model, the school competition model, the professional (teacher) self-steering model, and the hierarchical (school management) self- steering model. As an example of how to use their ideal types, Dobbins and Niemann calculated the relationship between the school autonomy constellation in European countries and each country’s PISA performance.

Manuel Souto-Otero (Cardiff University) and Piotr Bialowoski (Harvard University) presented their research on how skills prioritisation and conceptions of education (narrow vs. broad) vary by social class. They found that (1) class differences exist and (2) that those in the middle classes prioritise different sets of skills than individuals in the working class and they also conceive education in a broader way, e.g. opportunities to learn are more often associated with non-formal and informal learning contexts.

Aaron Benavot (University at Albany-SUNY) has explored regional and variation over time in school knowledge and textbook content in primary and secondary education and discussed the cultural underpinnings of such variation. Jane Gingrich (University of Oxford) presented on the politics of differentiation reforms in secondary education, and Gita Steiner Khamsi (Columbia University/Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) on evidence and expertise in educational politics.

Each presentation was followed by an in-depth feedback by a discussant and an open discussion with the audience.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67498
E-Mail: martensk@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58629
E-Mail: mwindzio@uni-bremen.de

Fabian Besche-Truthe
Fabian Besche-Truthe
In his cumulative work, Besche-Truthe succeeded in integrating three usually isolated approaches to study the development of education systems into one approach.

Fabian Besche-Truthe successfully defended his cumulative doctoral thesis on Monday. Besche-Truthe, who is working on his doctorate in project A05 The Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems, has combined three research approaches usually used in isolation to study the dynamics of education systems' development into a heuristic approach in his thesis. His work is based on his three essays:

  • The Global Trajectories of Compulsory Education: Clustering Sequences of Policy Development, in: Martens, Kerstin; Windzio, Michael (2021): Global Pathways to Education - Cultural Spheres, Networks, and International Organizations. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham. S. 65-96.
  • The Global Diffusion of Adult Basic Education, in: Windzio, Michael; Mossig, Ivo; Besche-Truthe, Fabain; Seitzer, Helen (forthcoming): Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies, Global Dynamics of Social Policy. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham.
  • (with Helen Seitzer): Testing for the Money? Developing Aid Distribution Patterns and Educational Assessments. (under review)


Research on the development of education systems usually focuses on either (1) national factors, (2) inter-state relations or (3) transnational actors and discourses. Fabian Besche-Truthe combines these three approaches in his essays and thus addresses aspects that have not yet been considered in empirical research.


Contact:
Fabian Besche-Truthe
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57066
E-Mail: fbesche@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Dennis Niemann
Dr. Dennis Niemann
How do international organisations influence the global dynamics of social policy? The fourth volume of the our series at Palgrave Macmillan addresses this question. In this interview co-editor Dennis Niemann explains some findings.

The aim of your book is to analyse the "architecture of arguments in global social governance". Put simply, you proceed in two steps: First, you map the field (which IOs are engaged in which social policy issues?), then you examine the discourse (which strategies do IOs use to try to make their ideas and concepts heard?). Let's start with the first part: About 100 years ago, the field was small; with the ILO, there was exactly one IO that dealt with social policy and that still exists today. How has the field expanded and differentiated since then?

Dennis Niemann: That's right, the general trend that there have been more and more international organisations since the end of the Second World War also applies to social policy. Surprisingly, there are some central actors that cover almost the entire spectrum of social policy. The OECD, the ILO and the World Bank pop up again and again and shape various areas. But UNESCO, the UN's educational, scientific and cultural organisation, is also active in many social policy fields. However, we also observed that the overall population of social policy IOs became more diverse over time. Not only the large, well-known IOs are involved, but also many other IOs, some of them regional, have appeared on the scene to cover social policy issues: e.g. ASEAN, African Union or Mercosur.

Over time, many IOs have added social policy issues to their portfolio or expanded their social policy portfolio to other fields. Why is that?

Dennis Niemann: There are two main reasons for this. On the one hand, the IOs were actively mandated by their member states to deal with certain social policy issues - even though historically they did not have much expertise in this area. For example, the OECD, whose thematic focus was on economic policy, was commissioned in the 1980s by some member states to develop an instrument to measure national educational performance. The result was PISA and today the OECD is a central IO in international education policy. In general, education policy is particularly densely populated with 30 active IOs. On the other hand, this thematic expansion was also due to internal organisational factors, i.e. the IOs proactively expanded their portfolio. This happened, for example, because it enabled them to better fulfil their actual core mission.

We also should not neglect the fact that certain policy fields were discursively expanded to include a social policy component. For example, the interpretation of water as a natural resource has expanded to include a social policy component: water and access to it is a social good.

Let's move on to the second part of your analysis, the discourses. In the social policy areas you can find a lot of active IOs. Do they cooperate or compete with each other?

Dennis Niemann: Both. Of course, the fundamental views of certain IOs on priorities in social policy are quite diverse and partly bipolar. While one side prefers economic efficiency, other IOs want to see social cohesion guaranteed first and foremost. These two perspectives are often difficult to reconcile. But it is not impossible. We see that pragmatic approaches are taken in numerous initiatives and that IOs from different "families" cooperate productively in specific projects. For example, the World Bank, OECD and ILO have developed a common approach in family policy since 2008. Something similar can be observed in areas of youth unemployment and the migration of health care workers.

You write that the tendency to cooperate has increased in the last 10 years or so. Why is that?

Dennis Niemann: Well, I think that all kinds of IOs are increasingly able to combine their programmatic points of view - perhaps due to the rather basic cooperation projects that have been started. We should not forget, however, that in social policy, different ideas often continue to compete; perhaps just no longer in fundamental opposition. The fact that certain values have become more universal and valid certainly also plays a role in increased cooperation. A catalyst for this were the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. They established certain normative reference points for IOs in social policy, which increasingly guide their arguments and actions. And a common basis of values makes cooperation much easier.

Some IOs are dominant in the social policy discourse. What factors cause an IO to dominate a field or at least to take an influential position?

Dennis Niemann: First and foremost, probably timing and resources. When IOs hit the zeitgeist, they enjoy an additional legitimacy that enables them to determine social policy discourses. IOs that also have the necessary resources to implement their programmatic guidelines can obviously have a more influential effect than IOs that lack these resources to generate outreach.

Finally, let's take a look at the future: The influence of IOs on social policy has increased in the past. Will this trend continue or even reverse in some areas?

Dennis Niemann: My crystal ball may be a little foggy on this, but in principle we have always seen an increase in the importance of IOs in social policy in the past. At the moment I can't think of many reasons that would cause a reversal of the trend. What I could imagine, however, and what is also emerging to some extent, is that individual IOs will lose significance and others, e.g. the big players, will become even bigger. Likewise, the discursive camp formation could become more pronounced again. In general, however, one should not ignore the social policy outcomes. As long as the IOs "deliver", i.e. can point out solutions to socio-political problems and help shape them, they will continue to be central actors in this field and will still present us with many exciting research tasks.

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Read the full book (open access):
Kerstin Martens, Dennis Niemann, Alexandra Kaasch (eds.)(2021): International Organizations in Global Social Governance. Palgrave Macmillan. Cham


Contact:
Dr. Dennis Niemann
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67473
E-Mail: dniemann@uni-bremen.de

Book four of the series, edited by Kerstin Martens, Dennis Niemann and Alexandra Kaasch, examines the influence of International Organisations on the development of several social policy fields.

International organisations (IOs) are important political actors that affect the development of many social policy fields. The volume "International Organizations in Global Social Governance" enhances and systematises our understanding of the role IOs play in global social policy.

In 14 chapters, the authors shed light on the engagement of IOs in the social policy fields of labour, migration, family, education, as well as environment and health. They record which IOs are involved in the discourse in each field and which trends they set. The authors also examine the discourse within and between the IOs. This book thus makes a significant contribution to research on social policy and international relations, both in terms of theoretical substantiation and the empirical scope.

The book is based on an international workshop of the CRC 1342 project A05 "The Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems", which took place at the University of Bremen in May 2019.

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Read the full book (open access):
International Organizations in Global Social Governance


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67498
E-Mail: martensk@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Dennis Niemann
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67473
E-Mail: dniemann@uni-bremen.de

Helen Seitzer
Helen Seitzer
Helen Seitzer, Dennis Niemann and Kerstin Martens have investigated what role the topic "PISA" plays in OECD education policy publications: not such a big one. Why PISA has become so successful nonetheless, Seitzer explains in an interview.

For their paper "Placing PISA in perspective: the OECD’s multi-centric view on education", Helen Seitzer, Dennis Niemann and Kerstin Martens have examined almost all documents published between 1961 and 2018 that are listed in the OECD online library marked by the keyword "education". What they found was that PISA by no means is that dominant a topic within these publications as we may suppose, given the popularity of PISA in mass media as well as in academic discussions. "The majority of the OECD’s output does not focus on PISA or secondary education at all. Most publications on education are discussing finance, management, or the labour market connection", the authors write. Lead author Helen Seitzer explains their results in the following interview.

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If you had to put a number on the share of OECD publications discussing PISA in one way or the other – what would that be?

Helen Seitzer: Many OECD publications on education include references to PISA in some way or another, but the overall share of reports discussing PISA alone is around 10%-17% of all publications, depending on the time frame of analysis. There might be a few documents on PISA before PISA even started (the discussion on PISA started in 1995), but it was not called PISA back then and the publications were not specifically labelled as such.

Is that high or low if you compare that to other prominent education topics discussed in OECD publications (and what were these other prominent topics)?

Seitzer: In education research concerned with the OECD, it seems as if PISA is the only topic the OECD is focussing on. At times it seems as if discussions on the 'OECD' automatically refer to 'PISA'. From that perspective the percentage of documents only discussing PISA is really low. The research that analyses other work from the OECD is still very limited and often refers back to PISA or takes it as a starting point for their research (so do we). However, the OECD is focussing on a lot more topics than PISA, mainly on labour market-related issues, but also management and planning of higher education for example, are very often discussed.

Your analysis covered the period of 1961 to 2018. Is the share of PISA as a topic within OECD publications still low if you look at the more recent years, let’s say since 2000?

If only the documents since 2000 are included, PISA makes up around 17% of all documents. That is around 90 documents in 8 years on PISA alone. The OECD is incredibly productive in education policy.

What other topics are popular in OECD publications recently?

Seitzer: Over time, the volume of topics discussed increased, similarly rising with the number of publications per year. Recently, School funding, ICT Skills, Labour market Skills and Vocational Training, and Labour Market Regulations and Adult Education are more popular discussions just to name a few. There is an increase on the "Skills" label, but also an increase on topics discussing adult education specifically. In fact, it looks like the compulsory part of education (primary and secondary schooling) does not matter that much.

Does this tell you anything, e.g. is there a shift yet to see?

Seitzer: Since the OECD’s inauguration in 1961 the world has changed a lot, so has the organization. Of course, there is a change in what is discussed over time. In the beginning, the focus was more on assessing what is there in terms of education systems and what do countries need to support their economy after WW II. Then, there was another shift of focus around 1975 on towards higher education. More discussions were held on managing higher education and innovating higher education systems than before. Now, technology (ICT) and adult education are more prevalent. However, the labour market orientation was always present.

Let’s have a look at why PISA has received that much attention in the more recent past and, more importantly, had such an impact on policy making. What is your explanation?

Seitzer: In the paper we discuss that PISA owes its success partly to the type of organization the OECD is, the timing they introduced it in, and the strategy they employ. The OECD has found a policy window when PISA first started, and the appropriate person to "sell" it, Andreas Schleicher (a policy entrepreneur). They presented a solution to a problem (that they themselves defined as a problem in the first place) at the right time, to the right people. The OECD's authority coupled with the demand for evidence-based policy-making created the perfect opportunity for PISA to thrive.

Is it correct to say that the OECD itself did invest in creating this window of opportunity for itself in order to secure its own position of an establish player in global governance?

Seitzer: They definitely had a hand in creating a policy window through publishing reports and problematizing education system effectiveness. However, this cannot be the only issue. There were other IOs with other assessments active in the field at the time (and still are), who are not as successful. The OECD has established itself as a rational actor to provide a valuable assessment of student achievement that is necessary for countries to implement in order to be taken seriously. Their framing of PISA and the information it can provide, but also the network of experts and policymakers the IO has, are definitely partly responsible for the success of PISA. This observation, that the OECD was able to establish itself as industry leader and keep that position makes it even more interesting and important to investigate IO activities and influence.

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Read the full paper (open access):
Helen Seitzer, Dennis Niemann & Kerstin Martens (2021): Placing PISA in perspective: the OECD’s multi-centric view on education. In: Globalisation, Societies and Education, DOI:10.1080/14767724.2021.1878017


Contact:
Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57084
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio have published a paper in the SFB 1342 Technical Paper Series. They present a data driven way to operationalize cultural characteristics of states and cultural similarity between states.

New Technical Paper published: Cultural Spheres – Creating a dyadic dataset of cultural proximity

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio have published a paper in the SFB 1342 Technical Paper Series. The author team presents a data driven way to operationalize cultural characteristics of states and cultural similarity between states. Why is this important? The authors are confident that culture is a major factor influencing the developmental paths of states and regions.

Their data set on "cultural spheres" is an innovative tool to describe cultural configurations of nations in a relational way. Countries can be tied by sharing a multitude of cultural characteristics, defined by a variety of variables like dominant religion(s), dominant language, colonial history, gender relations, civil freedom etc. As a result, the user gets a fuzzy typology of cultural spheres. This typology consists of yearly valued networks, spanning a time frame of 1789 until 2010 (see figure, the year 2015 as an example). The more of these characteristics two countries share, the more closely connected they are.

Figure 1: Cultural Spheres Network 2015

The approach of Besche-Truthe, Seitzer and Windzio enables researchers to overcome various ways of using proxies to define some sort of cultural categories. Through a relational, additive approach to cultural spheres, the authors offer a tool that is adaptable to different research questions, especially regarding policy diffusion. Their dataset is a first step towards harnessing the ‘culture matters’ proclamation in a standardized, controllable, relational way.

The full paper is availabe for download: Cultural Spheres – Creating a dyadic dataset of cultural proximity

More information on the research of project A05: The Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems

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Contact:
Fabian Besche-Truthe
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57066
E-Mail: fbesche@uni-bremen.de

Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57084
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58629
E-Mail: mwindzio@uni-bremen.de

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio have published a paper in the SFB 1342 Technical Paper Series. The author team presents a data driven way to operationalize cultural characteristics of states and cultural similarity between states.

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio have published a paper in the SFB 1342 Technical Paper Series. The author team presents a data driven way to operationalize cultural characteristics of states and cultural similarity between states. Why is this important? The authors are confident that culture is a major factor influencing the developmental paths of states and regions.

Their data set on "cultural spheres" is an innovative tool to describe cultural configurations of nations in a relational way. Countries can be tied by sharing a multitude of cultural characteristics, defined by a variety of variables like dominant religion(s), dominant language, colonial history, gender relations, civil freedom etc. As a result, the user gets a fuzzy typology of cultural spheres. This typology consists of yearly valued networks, spanning a time frame of 1789 until 2010 (see figure, the year 2015 as an example). The more of these characteristics two countries share, the more closely connected they are.

Figure 1: Cultural Spheres Network 2015

The approach of Besche-Truthe, Seitzer and Windzio enables researchers to overcome various ways of using proxies to define some sort of cultural categories. Through a relational, additive approach to cultural spheres, the authors offer a tool that is adaptable to different research questions, especially regarding policy diffusion. Their dataset is a first step towards harnessing the ‘culture matters’ proclamation in a standardized, controllable, relational way.

The full paper is availabe for download: Cultural Spheres – Creating a dyadic dataset of cultural proximity

More information on the research of project A05: The Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems

 


Contact:
Fabian Besche-Truthe
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57066
E-Mail: fbesche@uni-bremen.de

Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57084
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58629
E-Mail: mwindzio@uni-bremen.de