Scope This series maps the emergent field of educational futures. It will commission books on the futures of education in relation to the question of globalisation and knowledge economy. It seeks authors who can demonstrate their understanding of discourses of the knowledge and learning economies.
It aspires to build a consistent approach to educational futures in terms of traditional methods, including scenario planning and foresight, as well as imaginative narratives, and it will examine examples of futures research in education, pedagogical experiments, new utopian thinking, and educational policy futures with a strong accent on actual policies and examples. Education and the KnowledgeBased Economy in Europe Edited by Bob Jessop, Norman Fairclough, and Ruth Wodak Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University, United Kingdom SENSE PUBLISHERS ROTTERDAM/TAIPEI A C. I. P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress ISBN 978-90-8790-622-1 (paperback) ISBN 978-90-8790-623-8 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-8790-624-5 (ebook).
Published by: Sense Publishers P. O. Box 21858, 3001 AW Rotterdam, The Netherlands Printed on acid-free paper All Rights Reserved © 2008 Sense Publishers No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work .
For our students, past, present, and future TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Boxes, Figures, and Tables List of Abbreviations ix xi Foreword xiii Introduction Bob Jessop Part I 1 The Knowledge-Based Economy in Context 1 A Cultural Political Economy of Competitiveness and its Implications for Higher Education Bob Jessop 2 From ‘Humboldt’ to ‘Bologna’: history as discourse in higher education reform debates in German-speaking Europe Mitchell G. Ash 3 The EU as an emerging normative power in the global knowledgebased economy?
Recognition Regimes for higher education qualifications Eva Hartmann Part II 13 41 63 The European Union and the Knowledge-Based Economy 4 Embracing the global: crisis and the creation of a new semiotic order to secure Europe’s knowledge-based economy Susan L. Robertson 5 The Bologna Process and the knowledge-based economy: a critical discourse analysis approach Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak 6 ‘Requisite irony’ and ‘the knowledge-based economy’: a critical discourse analysis of the drafting of education policy in the European Union Peter D.
Jones 89 109 127 Part III Discourses of the Knowledge Society and Knowledge Economy 7 Using keywords analysis in CDA: evolving discourses of the knowledge economy in education Jane Mulderrig vii 149 TABLE OF CONTENTS 8 ‘Finland is a small country’ narrative construction of the internationalisation of higher education Terhi Nokkala 171 Conclusion: shifting discourses and mediating structures in the co-construction of Europe, knowledge and universities Roger Dale 193 Notes on Contributors 207 Index 213 viii LIST OF BOXES, FIGURES, AND TABLES Box 1.
1 Six social-epistemic functions of transdiscursive terms 24 Figure 4. 1 Tuning Latino Americana – and Beyond 103 Tables 4. 1 GDP Growth: Europe vs World 95 6. 1 6. 2 6. 3 6. 4 6. 6 Assessment of Progress Funding Implications Addressing the Member States Managing the OMC for Education and Training Knowledge-Based Economy Discourses of Education 133 134 135 136 137 7. 1 7. 2.
Keywords Emerging (under B, C, or D) and retained Keywords Dropped 152 152 ix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AACSB ABET BFUG CDA CEC CEPES CPE DMAU EC ECTS EEC EFTA EHEA ENQA EU EUA GATS GATT GDP HE HEI ICT IMD KBE MBE MC MS MTR NII NIS NSI OECD OMC PISA R&D RUEK UNESCO WEF WTO American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Bologna Follow-Up Group Critical Discourse Analysis Commission of the European Community European Centre for Higher Education/le Centre Europeen pour l’Enseignement Superieur Cultural Political Economy Delivering on the Modernisation Agenda for Universities.
European Council European Credit Transfer System European Economic Commission European Free Trade Association European Higher Education Area European Network of Quality Assurances European Union European University Association General Agreement on Trade in Services General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Gross Domestic Product Higher Education Higher Education Institution Information and Communication Technology Institute for Management Development Knowledge-based economy Mobilising the Brainpower of Europe Marie Curie Member State(s) Mid-Term Review National Information Infrastructure National Innovation System.
National System of Innovation Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development Open Method of Coordination Programme for International Student Assessment Research and Development Role of Universities in a Europe of Knowledge United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Economic Forum World Trade Organization xi FOREWORD The contributions to the present volume are revised versions of papers presented at a conference on 30 November – 1 December 2005 in the context of the first Annual Research Programme of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) at Lancaster University.
The Institute was established in 2001 to promote inter-, trans- and postdisciplinary research, a hallmark of the University since its foundation in 1964, and it currently does so through a mix of externally funded research projects and internally funded research programmes, lecture series, and incubation projects within and across the arts, humanities, economics and management, and social sciences. The topic of the first Annual Research Programme, the Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE), was selected because of its inherently trans-disciplinary nature.
The whole programme was ably directed from its inception through to its closing international conference by Steve Fleetwood of the Department of Organization, Work and Technology in Lancaster University Management School and the conference on Critical Semiotic Analysis of the KBE was co-organized by Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak, two of the co-editors of this volume. I am grateful to Steve for his hard work throughout the programme year and to Norman and Ruth for their skilful organization of the conference, the marshalling of contributors, and their role in the editorial work.
Anne-Marie Mumford helped me in the first stages of turning chapters into camera-ready copy and Dr Christos Boukalas is largely responsible for the index. Bob Jessop IAS Founding Director Department of Sociology Lancaster University 1st May 2008 xiii BOB JESSOP INTRODUCTION The knowledge-based economy (or KBE) is a topical theme that is well-suited to trans- and post-disciplinary analysis because it is particularly complex and multifaceted.
Not only can it be analysed productively from many different disciplinary perspectives but its contextualisation, interpretation, and, where relevant, explanation can be enhanced through dialogue among scholars with a view to identifying overlaps, intersections, anomalies, and blind spots. In addition, the KBE’s development is actually producing new sub-disciplines and transdisciplines as knowledge is applied reflexively to produce new knowledge (e. g. , nanotechnology, life sciences, entrepreneurialism, creativity) and as its dynamic throws up new problems and/or solutions.
Knowledge is a topic for pure and applied philosophers; knowledge creation for engineers and ‘imagineers’; knowledge management for business schools, knowledge transfer for knowledge brokers, knowledge transfer partnerships, and the ‘triple helix’ formed by business, research institutes and universities, and political authorities; the monetary valuation of knowledge and intellectual property is a task for accountants; the extension and protection of intellectual property is grist to the mill for lawyers;
Traditional knowledge is of growing interest to anthropologists and knowledge prospectors (and pirates); knowledge work is a matter for sociologists; discourses about knowledge and the KBE are key topics for discourse analysts of diverse stripes; education and lifelong learning for educational researchers; smart weapons and the revolution in military affairs for security analysts; international regimes governing the KBE, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Trade Organization, or the OECD, for international relations specialists; and so forth.
Each of these topics can be illuminated by combining approaches from those (sometimes arbitrarily) mentioned as their ‘home’ discipline with those from other disciplines and, in and through such inter-disciplinary conversations, a more complex account of the multi-faceted character of the knowledge-based economy should emerge. This, at least, was the aim of the Annual Research Programme on the KBE at Lancaster University, from which the contributions in this volume are drawn, and which tackled many of these issues and was itself organised on the principle of ‘patient intellectual capital’, i.e. , the belief that the results of transdisciplinary interactions take time to mature.
The particular workshop from which the papers in this volume are drawn (Critical Semiotic Analysis of the KBE) was co-organised by Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak and combined established scholars and young researchers as part of the IAS commitment to capacity-building. As the notes on contributors indicate, B, Jessop, N. Fairclough, & R. Wodak (eds. ), Education and the Knowledge-Based Economy in Europe, 1–9. © 2008 Sense Publishers. All rights reserved BOB JESSOP the latter come from several disciplinary backgrounds.
Moreover, while they all share an interest in discourse and the KBE in its implications for skill formation, education, and, in particular, higher education, they bring different theoretical approaches, methodologies, techniques, and concerns to the analysis. This was even truer of the conference itself. Contributions were therefore chosen to illustrate the range of approaches to discourse analysis (or, in the cases of Hartmann and Nokkala, narrative policy analysis) and their capacity to contextualise, interpret, and explain the significance of the KBE as an ensemble of economic imaginaries and/or as a set of real economic developments and their repercussions within education, especially higher education, at national, European Union, and international scales.
The methodologies and techniques range from software-based keyword-focused corpus linguistics (Mulderrig) through close textual comparison of successive drafts of official documents (Jones) and transdisciplinary dialectical discourse analysis and historical discourse analysis (Fairclough and Wodak) to the historical deconstruction of myths and critical interrogation of keywords (Ash).
The most comprehensive approach, introduced in the introductory chapter and subsequently taken up by Fairclough and Wodak, Robertson, and, to some extent, Jones, is cultural political economy, which combines a broad understanding of critical discourse analysis (hereafter CDA), inspired by many of the above analytical methods, with arguments from critical political economy. The topics analysed also vary widely – from the alleged spread of the Humboldtian myth of the German research-based teaching university, to successive White Papers on school reform in England and Wales.
But the majority are concerned in whole or in part with the discursive articulation and substantive construction of linkages between the knowledge-based economy and higher education within the European Union and their connection to changing forms of international competitiveness in an increasingly integrated world market in services, goods, and ‘talents’. Having mentioned the discourse-analytical approach, I now comment briefly on its field of application – the knowledge-based economy.
All the contributions start from the assumption that, whether or not the knowledge-based economy provides the most adequate description of current trends in contemporary economic development, the discourse of the ‘KBE’ has become a powerful economic imaginary in the last 20 years or so and, as such, has been influential in shaping policy paradigms, strategies, and policies in and across many different fields of social practice.
Some reasons for this are explored in the opening chapter; and other chapters examine its implications for educational policy and the associated transformation of educational institutions and practices. In other words, this volume starts from a specifically discourse-analytical claim – not one about the’real’ economic world but about the hegemonic framing of the KBE as the key theoretical and, even more, policy paradigm for the institutional design and strategic reorientation of education, skill formation, and higher education.
This poses three interesting questions about the KBE as an economic imaginary: its origins, selection, and hegemonic stabilisation; its translation into and/or articulation with other discourses; and the manner and extent of its actualisation in specific policy initiatives in different arenas and their ongoing implementation.
Most of the contributions address the first two questions and, insofar as their 2 INTRODUCTION authors share the pessimistic conclusion of the High Level Group chaired by Wim Kok (2004) that the ambition of the EU’s Lisbon Agenda to make the European Union the most competitive KBE in the world by 2010 was not on course to realisation, they also comment on its effectivity.
Some contributions also discuss alternative discourses, such as the knowledge society (Nokkala) and national systems of innovation or the learning economy (Jessop, Jones). The book has three main parts. The first provides a general introduction by Bob Jessop to the theme of the knowledge-based economy from a cultural political economy perspective and also includes two further chapters that give essential background to the current restructuring of higher education.
Mitchell Ash provides a critical historical review of the Humboldtian myth and its continuing influence in higher education reform debates and policy measures in Germany and Austria, and Eva Hartmann gives a broad contemporary overview of various attempts to redesign and harmonise education to facilitate the international mobility of knowledge and to secure mutual recognition of qualifications and credentials.
Part II provides more detailed analyses of the role of the European Union in this regard, focusing on different aspects of the Bologna Process, i.e. , the series of steps coordinated by ministers of education to bring about harmonisation of the structure of higher education cycles inside the European Union and other signatories to the process. Susan Robertson focuses on a broad range of official policy documents to provide a cultural political economy perspective on the increased urgency being attached, thanks to an officially endorsed discourse on the ‘crisis’ of the Lisbon agenda, to the reorganisation of higher education as a key factor in enhancing the European Union’s economic competitiveness.
Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak provide a broader discourse-analytical critique of key Bologna Process documents concerned with the formation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). And Peter Jones also examines official documents, this time through a detailed account of the drafting of one eventual policy statement through its successive versions to reveal the dynamics of official narratives and policymaking.
Finally, Part III comprises two case studies that explore the translation of discourses about the knowledge society and knowledge-based economy into national narratives and policies. These cases focus respectively on ‘knowledge society’ narratives as a key context for making sense of – and giving form to – Finland’s emergence as one of the most competitive knowledge-based economies in the world (Terhi Nokkala) and on the emergence of skill formation and KBErelated targets in education policy in England and Wales (Jane Mulderrig).
The book concludes with a sympathetic and synthetic overview of the contributions by Roger Dale that provides additional contextualisation, identifies some important common themes, and sketches a future research agenda in this area. PART I In Part One, Bob Jessop provides an initial framing for the other contributions by introducing a cultural political economy (CPE) approach to the role of economic imaginaries in simplifying the complexities of actually existing economies, providing a strategic orientation for economic and political strategies, and, in part, 3 BOB JESSOP helping to constitute that which is being imagined.
The ‘knowledge-based economy’ is just such an economic imaginary and Jessop seeks to explain why and how it became hegemonic compared with earlier, less successful imaginaries that had been proposed to make sense of, and orient strategies to move beyond, the crisis of the post-war economic model based on Atlantic Fordism. In this context he identifies both the discursive and the material factors behind the hegemonic ascendancy of the KBE imaginary and its crucial role in the constitution of that which some commentators purport merely to describe rather than giving it a prescriptive, ethico-political force.
This is related to the important distinction between theoretical and policy paradigms and Jessop argues that the KBE figures prominently in both – albeit it with different discursive connotations and practical implications in each case. Finally, he traces the implications of the newly hegemonic imaginary for changes in the role of education at different levels and their connection to the competitiveness and social exclusion agendas.
Mitchell Ash, who describes himself as an historian rather than linguist but nonetheless embraces the ‘linguistic turn’ in historical research, explores recent discourses on higher education reform proposals in Germany and Austria from the perspective of two widely-prevalent and complementary myths, one of which has a long history while the other is more recent. The first is that the Humboldtian University is under threat, the second that this threat takes the form of Americanisation.
Ash shows that, while these myths lack solid historical foundations, they nonetheless have a powerful rhetorical appeal and formative influence on policy debates by shaping corporate and professional identities. He first explores the narrative construction of the ‘Humboldt Myth’, showing its limited relevance to German history and its implementation in the USA in the early 20th century. He then argues that the US Model drew on various European traditions as well as having novel US features – implying, paradoxically, that the much-criticised process of ‘Americanisation’ is in part a return of European institutions and practices to their roots.
Next he identifies some ‘key words’ in contemporary higher education discourse, noting their distinctive meaning and resonance in German and Austrian reform discourses. Also notable for our purposes is Ash’s critique of the simplistic reading of the distinctive features of the American model, especially the fixation on Harvard and Stanford rather than the top state universities, which provide much better benchmarks for European reform.
He concludes that the likely outcome of current reforms will be a hybrid model that satisfies the majority of students in mass higher education, who are not interested in research careers but do want appropriate credentials to enter the knowledge labour market. Eva Hartmann addresses competing national, regional, and international initiatives by various economic and political forces to facilitate the mobility of knowledge workers in an increasingly integrated world market and to enhance competitiveness in (knowledge-intensive) globally tradeable services.
She focuses on quality assurance, accreditation and recognition in higher education and, besides examining the roles of UNESCO, the WTO, and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), explores the EU as a regional and global power centre concerned to shape international norms on the recognition of credentials. The EU 4 INTRODUCTION aims thereby to shape the global ‘war for talent’, to complete the internal EU market in services as part of the broader neo-liberal European project, and to win support from poorer or smaller EU countries as well as from professional classes by enabling labour market mobility.
Hartmann relates these cases to struggles among national states and/or transnational fractions of capital to shape the emerging international economic order and support it through what Gill calls a ‘new constitutional’ framework. In the latter regard, the recognition arrangements proposed by the EU, UNESCO, and the GATS are marked by specific couplings of hard and soft law whose implementation requires a range of additional marketbased, hierarchical, and partnership-based governance mechanisms.
Different proposals reflect the rival interests of different fractions of capital and/or national and regional states over the form, content, and aims of quality assurance, accreditation, and recognition. This explains key differences between the UNESCO and EU frameworks and attempts to use the EU model (also backed by the USA) both as a benchmark and a political lever to reshape UNESCO’s proposals. Hartmann also notes resistance to these changes at various scales, including efforts to strengthen national quality controls and accreditation systems and to support best practice and harmonisation rather than a single system, of whatever kind.
PART II In Part Two, Susan Robertson explores the contribution of the European Union ‘crisis’ discourse by Barosso and Kok to the post-2005 emergence of globallyoriented ‘education’ policies and programmes shaped by the KBE economic imaginary. These mark a major shift from a social market/’fortress Europe’ that would pursue economic competitiveness in ways compatible with the European social model toward a more one-sided neo-liberal strategy that emphasises free and open markets and reduces social policy to the goal of a more socially inclusive economy.
Robertson establishes this through a discourse analysis of the main education and policy initiatives (EC, 2007), the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy chaired by Wim Kok (2004), the new Lisbon strategy (EC, 2005), EU President Barosso’s speeches in the period that followed, official policies on Erasmus Mundus, and Zgaga’s recent report to the Bologna Follow-up Group on the external dimension of the Bologna Process.
She argues that the discursive shifts in these policy texts, which both react to and are enabled by the Lisbon crisis, reflect significant economic changes and the rebalancing of social forces within and beyond Europe that have paradoxically reinforced cultural and economic imperialism as well as neo-liberalism. More specifically, she focuses on the ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘with what material and social consequences’ of this ideational and representational shift for the role of higher education in the production of the imagined European KBE.
In this context she also notes how Member States’ resistance to the pursuit of a European level strategy in this and other areas led to the formal adoption of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) as a distinctive governance mechanism. Nonetheless the newly created sense of urgency consequent upon the new crisis discourse has increased pressures on Member 5 BOB JESSOP States to conform to the new KBE agenda and to hasten the modernisation of higher education to suit the economic reform agenda. Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak focus in turn on the Bologna Process as a key driver in the EU’s strategy to build a ‘knowledge-based economy’.
In a critical discourse analysis of this process and its role in the structural transformation and strategic reorientation of higher education, they synthesise two different – but compatible – versions of CDA as developed and applied in their previous theoretical and empirical research: Fairclough’s dialectical theory of discourse and transdisciplinary approach to researching social change and Wodak’s discoursehistorical approach as applied in research on the discursive construction of (European) identities and its many attendant struggles and tensions.
More specifically, they discuss the contribution of systematic and detailed textual analysis to further development of cultural political economy, significant textual analytical categories for CPE, and the most productive ways to secure a theoretically consistent articulation between textual analysis and other dimensions of CPE. Their systematic qualitative analysis of extracts from key documents in the Bologna Process provides a detailed illustration of how the macro-theoretical propositions of CPE can be operationalised empirically.
In this regard they focus on several partially overlapping analytical categories, including ‘interdiscursivity’, the ‘legitimation’ of policy objectives and proposals, the relations of ‘equivalence’ among items that are fallaciously construed as co-members of a single class, and the distinctive and differential features of the genres characteristic of official policy documents.
This enables them to make two major theoretical and methodological contributions to the research on KBE and higher education: first, a theoretically consistent articulation between key CDA categories and techniques for textual analysis and other categories in the CPE approach; and, second, a method for investigating empirically the discursive mediation of crucial macro- and microlevel processes and outcomes in the reproduction and regulation of capital accumulation, using textual analysis as a ‘semiotic point of entry’.
Peter Jones combines critical discourse analysis with an exploration of ‘selfreflexive irony’ in his account of the changing of education policy in the EU’s efforts to establish a knowledge-based economy. He describes how the iterative production of EU education policy texts manages key conflicts and contradictory strategies to produce a fictitious (or ironic) consensus and is thereby contributing to a relatively stable governance framework for this policy field. Jones focuses on the drafting and redrafting of a key official document from November 2003 to March 2004, i.e. , a Joint Report of the European Commission and Council of Ministers on progress to date and next steps in national education reform systems as part of the Lisbon Strategy.
His analysis of published and unpublished texts reveals important shifts in the content, language and form of the successive drafts, revealing thereby the important relations among KBE discourses of education, EU-level policy texts, and the strategies of different EU institutions and forces.
A series of textual and inter-textual comparisons indicates how (the appearance of) consensus is secured, managing the tension between recognition of difference and pressure for harmonisation and, in addition, preserving the Lisbon Strategy emphasis on the crucial role of training and education in a competitive KBE. The OMC is given a 6 INTRODUCTION key role here in sustaining coherent, cooperative efforts by Member States to achieve the KBE objectives for education at all levels as well as to promote social inclusion, European identity formation, and European integration as a whole.
Opposition is incorporated into the official texts by recognising oppositional identities and practices while subordinating them to the overall institutional and ideological framework of the Lisbon Agenda. Thus these texts manifest a fictitious consensus thereby stabilising the balance of forces oriented to competitiveness strategies in the education field. In this way they contribute to the ironic maintenance and repair of contradictory social relations at the EU scale that are in some sense a manifestation of the contradictory social relations of the KBE and its discourses for education.
PART III In Part Three, Jane Mulderrig explores changes in educational discourse in the United Kingdom during three decades of crisis and radical change in British capitalism. Combining various approaches in critical discourse analysis with corpus linguistic tools, it examines a corpus of seventeen White Papers spanning five Prime Ministers from Edward Heath to Tony Blair who, between them, led four alternating periods of Conservative and Labour rule.
By linking social theory with corpus linguistic ‘keywords’ tools, she identifies three successive educational policy concerns: a technocratic focus on educational outputs under Thatcher’s neoliberal government; a visionary discourse of competitiveness under Major’s caretaker government; and a strategic policy aimed at building an internationally competitive, skills-based, economy under Blair’s New Labour Government.
As well as discussing the implications of these textual findings for education’s role in economic policy, Mulderrig notes the contribution of this methodology to a systematic interdisciplinary investigation of public discourse. Like Robertson, she notes the key role of ‘crisis’ discourse in shaping and consolidating structural reforms and strategic reorientation in education policy, this time at the primary and secondary levels.
This crisis narrative was combined and reinforced through a dramatic centralisation of control over the curriculum, standards, professional training, and the overall degree of audit and accountability. The increasing importance of competitiveness is noted under the premiership of Major as part of UK recontextualisation of EU policy with distinctive managerial bias in presentation. The Blair period also emphasises the skills agenda not only for schools but also for life-long learning.
This is part of a workfarist agenda that is presented as essential not only to competitiveness but also to social inclusion and it is reinforced by a range of institutional innovations and strategic governance networks. Overall, then, Mulderrig identifies a shift from an immediate authoritarian response to an alleged ‘crisis’ of education to a neo-liberal competitiveness agenda concerned to solve social as well as economic problems. Finland has been at or near the top of several international competitiveness ratings for s