What is governance? Projects, objects and analytics in education

Wilkins, Andrew and Mifsud, Denise. 2024. What is governance? Projects, objects and analytics in education. Journal of Education Policy, 39(3), pp. 349-365. ISSN 0268-0939 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The term ‘governance’ is one of the most widely applied concepts in education policy and research. Yet its meaning has changed over space and time both analytically and normatively. This history is a complicated one marked by both shifts and continuations in the politics of language and the development of unique intellectual histories and conceptual and empirical turns in the field of education. In this paper we systematically delineate the different meanings ascribed to governance within education with a focus on its polyvalence as a political project, empirical object and research analytic. Specifically, we highlight the various complementarities and tensions flowing from this rich and evolving language. We conclude by calling for more education researchers to reflect on this complicated history and attendant language as part of their framings and interpretations of governance.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Governance, education, policy, research, epistemology, politics

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


13 February 2024Accepted
19 February 2024Published Online

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Date Deposited:

14 Feb 2024 14:35

Last Modified:

17 May 2024 01:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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