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Open Access Educational aid, symbolic power and policy reform: The World Bank in Ethiopia

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The World Bank uses a combination of financial and non-financial aid to influence educational reform in aid-recipient countries. Drawing on an interpretive policy analysis methodology and using Pierre Bourdieu's concept of symbolic power as a 'thinking tool', this article aims to shed light on the Bank's non-financial pathways of policy influence in the Ethiopian higher education policy space. Specifically, it identifies knowledge-based policy regulatory instruments of the Bank, including sector reviews, advisory activities, analytical reports and learning events. The key argument is that in order to understand the full extent of donor power in national education policy fields in sub-Saharan Africa, it is imperative to problematize less visible discursive means of policy imposition.

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Keywords: BOURDIEU; DEVELOPMENT AID; ETHIOPIA; HIGHER EDUCATION REFORM; SYMBOLIC POWER; WORLD BANK

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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