The Bologna Process Goes East? From 'Third Countries' to Prioritizing Interregional Cooperation between the ASEAN and EU’

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The Bologna Process increasingly prioritizes its dialogues and negotiations with regions over individual countries, thus expanding its outreach to a larger scale. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations—ASEAN and ASEAN+3—which are developing collective mechanisms for regional harmonization, have become one of the strategic regions for the EU partnerships in higher education. This paper draws on policy diffusion approach in regional studies literature and a constructivist approach to policy movement and mutation in geography to examine how Bologna policies have travelled to ASEAN and transformed their features and effects in the new context. Bringing the theoretical frameworks from political science and geography into higher education studies, this paper attempts to make a novel methodological contribution. Tracing the evolution of the ASEAN regional cooperation in higher education over the last four decades and using first-hand empirical data, this paper argues that although the Bologna Process provides a point of reference for ASEAN, the active construction of an ASEAN regional higher education space in its flexible institutional design can become a model in its own right and potentially provide a useful source for reflecting on European Bologna practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Higher Education Area
Subtitle of host publicationBetween Critical Reflections and Future Policies.
EditorsAdrian Curaj, Liviu Matei, Remus Pricopie, Jamil Salmi, Peter Scott
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-20877-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-18767-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access
This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


  • Bologna Process
  • Regionalism
  • Policy diffusion
  • Policy mobility
  • Localization


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