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Theoretical Framework

  • Christian MaroyEmail author
  • Xavier Pons
Chapter
Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 11)

Abstract

In this chapter, we describe the theoretical framework underpinning our comparative and multilevel research study. We first define accountability as a relationship in the continuation of Mark Bovens’ perspective. Then we synthesize the four main approaches of education accountability available in the international literature: the typological approach, the political approach questioning the transformations of governance of education systems, the econometric approach on the effects of accountability on academic performance, and the more sociological approach on the implementation and local reception of accountability policies. We show the scope and the limitations of each approach to better stress the possibilities offered by our theoretical framework. The latter combines the North American neo-institutionalist approach, either organizational or sociohistorical, with the French sociological policy analysis (sociologie de l’action publique). It is based on three concepts. The first one is that of policy trajectory that we define as a combination of three processes: path dependence on earlier choices, policy bricolage, and translation by certain national actors of policy ideas and instruments circulating on a transnational level. The second one is policy mediation: accountability policies are co-constructed at all levels of public action by different actors and organizations that transfer, translate, and contextualize these policies, depending on various factors. The third concept is that of policy instrumentation understood as the set of problems posed by the choice, the implementation, and the usage of policy instruments. These three concepts allow us to study in depth accountability policies’ implementation itself.

Keywords

Neo-institutionalism French policy analysis Policy trajectory Mediation Policy instruments 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.University of Eastern-Paris CreteilParisFrance

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