The Evaluative State as Policy in Transition: A Historical and Anatomical Study

Guy Neave

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    Over the past two decades in Western Europe, the Evaluative State has grown, is growing though whether, like the power of one of Britain's more unfortunate monarchs, George III, ‘it ought to be diminished’ is a question as delicate as it is misplaced. In this chapter, I will explore the historic forces behind this particular phenomenon with a view to getting some purchase over where it is likely to lead us. And this in turn engages one of the most fundamental developments that higher education in Europe has to grapple with today — namely, the rise of what at different times and across different disciplinary perspectives has been variously described as ‘the European dimension’ (Huisman et al., 2000) as the intergovernmental layer (Maassen & Neave, 2007: 135 ff) or even amongst the more metaphysically inclined within the scholarly community, as the ‘supra governmental’ dimension in the affairs of higher education (Maassen & Olsen, 2007: 3–24). By and large, the Evaluative State on the one hand and the so-called Bologna Process on the other have been treated as separate and watertight issues — and, to some extent, indeed they are. The former quite obviously took shape and matured within in that classical setting of higher education policy, namely within the Nation State. The latter, however, represents a new and very certainly a permanent additional dimension or level of decision-making that both ties in with, whilst at the same time forming, a species of ‘supra ordinate’ layer beyond what for the past two centuries served as the highest level of aggregation in the evolution of the universities in Europe.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Comparative Education
    EditorsRobert Cowen, Andreas M. Kazamias
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4020-6402-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Publication series

    NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education


    • IR-89460
    • METIS-302465


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