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Theses

The Internal quality assurance as an instrument for the integration and improving of higher education :

analysis of best practices in the European Union and Latin America
City: 
Barcelona
Volume, number, page: 
123 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
The aim of this work is to identify the main factors which influence in the implementation and development of Quality Assurance Systems in higher education institutions (HEIs), and compare different regions with similar changes. In such scenary, it becomes a necessary task try to understand the processes that have led to the current education policy as well as the changes in the vision which the European Community (EC) has had on higher education over time. In this vein, higher education and education in general have moved from a marginal location towards the center of the concerns in almost all over the world. So far, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) do not work in a vacuum, but they are an important part of today's knowledge society. Through out a multiple case studies and two indepth case studies (Qualitative Methodology), was analyzed the way in which different internal quality assurance systems (IQAS) have been implemented and developed in six universities, [three from the Euroepan Union (EU) and three from Latin America (LA)]. From the observation of these cases in the field of quality assurance in higher education, we propose the use of some categories that provide an overview of the quality assurance as a policy domain within which policies are formulated. Derived from literature review were identified three big lines of work related with quality assurance issues in higher education; historical analysis; theoretical approaches, and political change. The latter has served as guideline to guide our work within the quality assurance in HEIs, particularly in reference to recurrent practices to evaluate the quality of some of the HEIs activities and the structures associated with these practices (Vlǎsceanu et al. 2007). In this proposal we follow a comparative approach to the political process, the outputs and outcomes of policies that facilitate discovering empirical relationships between variables, particularly in the field of public policies. Far to find answers, the results take us to consider some questions about possible patterns or guidelines associated to processes like the Bologna's for instance and compared with the Latin-American situation. This assignment speaks of quality assurance as a tool for the integration and improvement of higher education, also considers the quality assurance within the policy domain, as well as its different forms of implementation resulting from a national policy or transnational and whose impact is reflected in the actions taken by the HEI's. Even though is not a prescriptive framework, the EFQM excellence model perspective, allows to identifying the basic elements which compose the structure of QA system which is based on the application of the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) towards educational institutions. Whatever the origin of these new activities, no doubt the normative framework derived from the Bologna Declaration has set some trends of accreditation in Europe. It is clear that, in one way or another, this has influenced the development of varied quality assurance outlines in Latin America, as is demonstrated by the development of the QA actions identified on presented cases

Realpolitik or reinforcement of the EUs normative power

A Case Study on the EUs relations with the CELAC
Publisher: 
Linköping University
City: 
Linköping
Volume, number, page: 
96 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
This research aims to understand the nature and underlying motives of the EU’s relations with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The frequently claimed normative role of the EU will be examined in the context of the EUCELAC summit relations, and the cases should be outlined that cause a switch to Realpolitik behavior. Thereby, the EU’s engagement in regional integration and interregional cooperation will be illustrated and EU-CELAC cooperation areas concerning the fight against poverty and social inequality, the consolidation of good governance and the promotion of peace, and lastly, the regional integration, trade, and economic cooperation are analyzed to reach an understanding of their normative or Realpolitik content. The research illustrates the ways of understanding the EU’s normative behavior and power, and the nature of the cooperation between the EU and the CELAC, whereby it should be shown that the EU acts according to normative consideration and only in few exceptions turns towards Realpolitik behavior.

European influence on the development of domestic policies in Chile and Mexico :

the case of Higher Education
City: 
Birmingham
Volume, number, page: 
393 p.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The EU as an ideational actor has a significant impact on non-European countries. This thesis examines the growth of European ideas circulating throughout the field of Latin American Higher Education (HE), as part of the Bologna Process, which has manifested itself in a set of procedures, methods and tools that have contributed to the transformation of Chilean and Mexican HE. This phenomenon requires a rigorous analysis of
European ideational factors present within Normative Power Europe (NPE), not only through a cluster of ideas, norms, principles and values but also through analysing language. The thesis examines such claims, focusing on Chile and Mexico,and argues that the impact of European influences upon received countries is mediated by domestic circumstances. The thesis makes a contribution to both existing understanding of the European Union’s influence over Latin America and Latin American HE, and also seeks to advance upon existing debates around the notion of Normative Power Europe in particular, by illustrating how the NPE literature would benefit from a deeper consideration of the use of language and considering translation processes of receiver countries.

Differences in the perception of interest representation:

a comparision of Brasília and Brussels lobbying activity
Publisher: 
CPDOC - FGV
City: 
Rio de Janeiro
Volume, number, page: 
68 p.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The research topic of this paper is focused on the analysis of how trade associations perceive lobbying in Brussels and in Brasília. The analysis will be centered on business associations located in Brasília and Brussels as the two core centers of decision-making and as an attraction for the lobbying practice. The underlying principles behind the comparison between Brussels and Brasilia are two. Firstof all because the European Union and Brazil have maintained diplomatic relations since 1960. Through these relations they have built up close historical, cultural, economic and political ties. Their bilateral political relations culminated in 2007 with the establishment of a Strategic Partnership (EEAS website,n.d.). Over the years, Brazil has become a key interlocutor for the EU and it is the most important market for the EU in Latin America (European Commission, 2007). Taking into account the relations between EU and Brazil, this research could contribute to the reciprocal knowledge about the perception of lobby in the respective systems and the importance of the non-market strategy when conducting business. Second both EU and Brazilian systems have a multi-level governance structure: 28 Member States in the EU and 26 Member States in Brazil; in both systems there are three main institutions targeted by lobbying practice. The objective is to compare how differences in the institutional environments affect the perception and practice of lobbying, where institutions are defined as ‘‘regulative, normative, and cognitive structures and activities that provide stability and meaning to social behavior’’ (Peng et al., 2009). Brussels, the self-proclaimed 'Capital of Europe', is the headquarters of the European Union and has one of the highest concentrations of political power in the world. Four of the seven Institutions of the European Union are based in Brussels: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council and the European Commission (EU website, n.d.). As the power of the EU institutions has grown, Brussels has become a magnet for lobbyists, with the latest estimates ranging from between 15,000 and 30,000 professionals representing companies, industry sectors, farmers, civil society groups, unions etc. (Burson Marsteller, 2013). Brasília is the capital of Brazil and the seat of government of the Federal District and the three branches of the federal government of Brazilian legislative, executive and judiciary. The 4 city also hosts 124 foreign embassies. The presence of the formal representations of companies and trade associations in Brasília is very limited, but the governmental interests remain there and the professionals dealing with government affairs commute there. In the European Union, Brussels has established a Transparency Register that allows the interactions between the European institutions and citizen’s associations, NGOs, businesses, trade and professional organizations, trade unions and think tanks. The register provides citizens with a direct and single access to information about who is engaged in This process is important for the quality of democracy, and for its capacity to deliver adequate policies, matching activities aimed at influencing the EU decision-making process, which interests are being pursued and what level of resources are invested in these activities (Celgene, n.d). It offers a single code of conduct, binding all organizations and self-employed individuals who accept to 'play by the rules' in full respect of ethical principles (EC website, n.d). A complaints and sanctions mechanism ensures the enforcement of the rules and addresses suspected breaches of the code. In Brazil, there is no specific legislation regulating lobbying. The National Congress is currently discussing dozens of bills that address regulation of lobbying and the action of interest groups (De Aragão, 2012), but none of them has been enacted for the moment. This work will focus on class lobbying (Oliveira, 2004), which refers to the performance of the federation of national labour or industrial unions, like CNI (National Industry Confederation) in Brazil and the European Banking Federation (EBF) in Brussels. Their performance aims to influence the Executive and Legislative branches in order to defend the interests of their affiliates. When representing unions and federations, class entities cover a wide range of different and, more often than not, conflicting interests. That is why they are limited to defending the consensual and majority interest of their affiliates (Oliveira, 2004). The basic assumption of this work is that institutions matter (Peng et al, 2009) and that the trade associations and their affiliates, when doing business, have to take into account the institutional and regulatory framework where they do business.

The European Union’s Latin America policy

A study of Foreign Policy Change and Coordination
City: 
London
Volume, number, page: 
302 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
This thesis explores the evolution of the European Union’s (EU) Latin America policy through an analysis of factors internal to the EU’s foreign policy decision-making system. Its policy towards the region has changed in important ways over time and appears to have come to be more and more incoherent. Adapting existing Foreign Policy Analysis frameworks to the specific context of the EU’s foreign policy, this thesis seeks to understand how factors of bureaucratic politics shape the EU’s foreign policy towards third actors. It is hypothesized that where an analytical perspective which evaluates the EU’s increased policy incoherence towards Latin America as the result of rational decision-making is not satisfactory, bureaucratic politics need to be considered instead. Under this perspective, the EU’s policy incoherence is influenced by policy inertia arising out of previous commitments, the divergence of views between different internal EU actors, the autonomy of these to take decisions without prior consultation or coordination with others, and lastly the complexity and duration of EU foreign policy decision-making processes themselves. This research framework is then applied empirically by analysing the EU’s negotiations for international agreements with partners in the Latin American
region, and particularly those with regional organizations since the 1990s. This thesis finds that despite attempts to strengthen foreign policy coordination and coherence in the EU over time, the coherence of its Latin America policy has indeed been affected by bureaucratic politics arising out of factors such as changes to the internal organization of the European Commission or the disruption of established coordination mechanisms
through the Treaty of Lisbon. The findings contribute to our understanding of the evolution of EU-Latin American relations, on-going debates on the study of interregionalism, as well as more generally to the literature on EU foreign policy-making.
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