This paper examines the sources of authority behind the Bologna and ASEM secretariats’ technocratic appearance and administrative routines, and argues that they are transnational policy actors in their own right. By drawing on principal-agent theory and the concept of ‘authority’, it offers an alternative framework for understanding the various forms of authority. The case studies generate three important insights. First, it shows how the secretariats derive their authority from the tasks delegated by states, the moral values and social purpose they uphold, and the expertise they possess. Second, it compares how the different governance structures of the Bologna and ASEM education processes impact on the secretariats’ authority. Third, it highlights how the secretariats exercise their respective authorities and exert their discernible influence at different stages of higher education policy-making and region-building processes.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Globalisation, Societies and Education on 08/12/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14767724.2017.1402297]
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- regional secretariat
- higher education
- Bologna Process