The Rule of Mimetic Desire in Higher Education: Governing through naming, shaming and faming

Katja Brøgger

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


The initiation of the Bologna Process was accompanied by a radical
transition of governance in higher education throughout Europe from
government to governance. This article argues that this shift in the design of
governing was connected to the need to subtly bypass the EU’s subsidiarity
principle that kept education out of the EU’s legislative reach. The new
mode of governing is orchestrated through the Open Method of
Coordination (OMC), which constitutes the policy ontology of the Bologna
Process. The OMC presents the ambition to harmonise education systems
through standardisation as a main technology to govern performance. This
article argues that the Bologna mode of governance is powered through the
follow-up mechanisms that work as a material-affective infrastructure of the
policy ontology. These monitoring techniques are affectively wired. They
produce an affective politics of naming, shaming and faming that ignites a
competitive, mimetic desire making the Bologna mode of governance
TidsskriftBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Vol/bindVolume 37
Udgave nummerIssue1
Sider (fra-til)72-91
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2016
Udgivet eksterntJa