Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Power, Politics, and Higher Education in Southern Africa:
International Regimes, Local Governments, and Educational Autonomy

The book addresses the manifestations of power dynamics in negotiations between international organizations operating at the global level (e.g., the World Bank, WTO, and UNESCO) and international organizations operating at the regional level (e.g., NEPAD, SADC, and AAU). It further addresses how these dynamics influence the educational autonomy of governments in the region. Although it focuses on Southern Africa, the principles drawn and the models developed therein can contribute to a better understanding of inter-organizational interactions in other regions of the world.

The book unearths specific and general instances of power dynamics, which resulted in models and categories of power that are useful to inform a wide variety of academic disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. The RIF model (Regimes as Intermediate Factors) adds to the regime formation discourse by providing a visual representation of the complex role of regimes as intermediate between a system’s power structure and the negotiations and decision-makings that occur within the system. The NSPD model (Necessary and Sufficient conditions plus Properties and Dimensions) provides a tool with which to engage in basic conceptual analysis. The FET model (Filter Effect Theory) adds to the periphery-center discourse by providing a visual representation of the interactions between Global International Regimes, Regional International Regimes, and Local Governments in relation to the code of international negotiations. The SRHP model (Schematic Representation of Hermeneutical Power) adds a discourse of hermeneutical proximity-distance in areas concerned with textual interpretation.

Overall, this book is an important contribution to the study of power. The five categories of power discussed are: hermeneutical power, informational power, manipulative power, monetary power, and regulatory power. Power permeates all arenas of human life thus the book adds to the understanding of this complex phenomenon.

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