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ERIC Number: EJ928545
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0141-8211
The EU as a Norm Entrepreneur: The Case of Lifelong Learning
Kleibrink, Alexander
European Journal of Education, v46 n1 p70-84 Mar 2011
The EU has become one of the most prominent promoters of lifelong learning policies. Inside the European single market, EU member states have strong incentives to adopt similar approaches to lifelong learning and recognition of educational attainments in order to foster labour mobility. More surprisingly, countries neighbouring the EU also develop costly and radical reforms of their lifelong learning policies similar to those of EU member states. They do this despite the uncertain outcome of these policies on their specific labour markets and even though they are not likely to benefit from the potential gains of labour mobility. For making sense of this puzzle, this article conceptualises the underpinning mechanisms that led to these similar approaches to lifelong learning. The European Commission has created a specific script for lifelong learning that became an accepted norm inside the EU and was then diffused to neighbouring countries. Policy change according to this norm may be driven by competitive pressure, coercion, the pursuit of legitimacy or learning. While the EU seeks to diffuse its norm to neighbouring countries, these efforts initiated quite different processes in recipient countries. An illustration from neighbouring countries highlights two of these mechanisms. Remarkably, those countries that are potential candidate countries of the EU rather unreflectively emulated the norm because they strive for more legitimacy on their way to EU membership. In contrast, most neighbouring countries without any prospect of becoming EU members engaged in a process of bounded learning in which they adopt single aspects of the EU norm that fit their context and capacities. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: European Union