Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Business as educational policy actors: A case study of EDUCA
by Larach, Linda Patricia, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2008, 292; 3317652
Abstract (Summary)

This is a case study of EDUCA, an organization started by businessmen in the Dominican Republic to promote change in public education. It analyzes how EDUCA was involved in the educational policy subsystem over a period of fifteen years, paying special attention to how the organization interacted with other policy actors. The study also explores how local and global forces influenced the character of EDUCA's participation in education. The analysis is deeply contextualized in the larger education policy process and is divided into three time periods (1989–1994, 1995–1999, 2000–2004), each representing different economic and political scenarios in the Dominican Republic.

The study provides insights into how business groups participate in educational policy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and contributes to a better understanding of the politics of educational reform. Groundwork for developing a regional typology of business activities and policy instruments in education is laid out and a clear example of the interplay of local and global factors in the development of business-affiliated education advocacy organizations and policy over fifteen years is presented. These are important contributions to the literature on globalization and business in education.

From a theoretical perspective, the study reveals how the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) - which is used to frame the study - can be applied for studying educational policy processes in LAC. Analyzing a longer time period, keeping track of external system events such as macroeconomic changes, and understanding the range of actors in the subsystem and the relationships among each other - both locally and internationally - made it a rich framework for understanding the evolution of educational policies. It also revealed, however, some important elements for strengthening the application of the ACF in a developing country context. It highlights the importance for ACF researchers to consider international organizations as potential coalition actors and pay careful attention to the beliefs and material interests of policy actors. Some hypotheses about the character and role of forums for educational issues also emerged from the analysis, as well as an increased understanding of the value of policy images and venues for policy coalitions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Henig, Jeffrey R.
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American history, School administration, Political science
Keywords: Advocacy coalition framework, Business, Business in education, Dominican Republic, EDUCA, Educational policy, Politics of education
Publication Number: 3317652
ISBN: 978-0-549-65748-4
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