Lobbying on higher education issues in Western Europe - mapping of interest groups and intermediary structures
Who are the key actors in interest intermediation in higher education in Western Europe?
A chapter by Martina Vukasovic was recently published in "Comparative Higher Education Politics", a volume edited by Jens Jungblut (University of Oslo), Martina Maltais (Université du Québec), Erik C. Ness (University of Georgia) and Deanna Rexe (Simon Fraser University).
Martina's chapter focuses on interest groups and intermediary structures in 17 higher education systems in Western Europe. The chapter maps the actors in each of the systems and compares them across systems and across types of interest they represent. This allows for thus far first comprehensive mapping of interest intermediation in higher education in Western Europe. In addition, the decisive role of organizations from Western Europe in setting up and shaping European stakeholder organizastions is explored. The analytical framework used for the mapping builds on comparative politics/interest groups literature, while the empirical basis comprises various national level policy documents, national Bologna reports as well as descriptions of the various systems available through Eurydice or the ENIC-NARIC network, supplemented with secondary sources, expert consultations or data collected for related research projects by the author where necessary.
The chapter is part of a large edited volume comparing Western Europe, USA and Canada. Each thematic chapter combines an extensive literature review with original empirical work that further advances our understanding of policymaking dynamics in higher education. The book covers five key aspects of policymaking, namely the politics of governance as well as funding reforms, the role of interest groups, policy diffusion, and policy framing. These aspects are explored using a unique comparative design that combines comparisons within as well as between regions, and among the five key aspects of policymaking. The conceptual framework is anchored in approaches from institutional theory, namely sociological and historical institutionalism.