A theoretical approach to understanding the global/local nex-us: the adoption of an institutional logics framework.


  • Karen Parish Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences




Institutional logics; Global education; Human rights education


This paper takes as its starting point the theoretical debate within the field of Comparative and International Education surrounding the way in which the global/local nexus is understood and researched. Attempting to move the debate forward, the paper introduces the institutional logics approach as one way in which the global/local nexus can be explored. Institutional logics focus on how belief systems shape and are shaped by individuals and organisations. A framework, based on the institutional logics approach, is presented in this paper taking the phenomena of human rights education as an illustration. The author proposes that by adopting an institutional logics approach and framework we can gain a better theoretical and empirical understanding of the global/local nexus and at the same time provide a much needed bridge between the opposing views within this ongoing debate within the field of Comparative and International education.



Download data is not yet available.


Alford, R. R., & Friedland, R. (1985). Powers of theory: Capitalism, the state, and democracy. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Almandoz, J. (2012). Arriving at the starting line: The impact of community and financial logics on new banking ventures. Academy of management Journal, 55(6), 1381-1406. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2011.0361

Anderson-Levitt, K. M. (2003). A world culture of schooling? In K. M. Anderson-Levitt (Ed.), Local meanings, global schooling: Anthropology and world culture theory (pp. 1-26). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Anderson-Levitt, K. M. (2012). Complicating the concept of culture. Comparative Education, 48(4), 441-454. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2011.634285

Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization (Vol. 1). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minneapolis Press.

Archard, D. (1996). Philosophy and pluralism (Vol. 40). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Bajaj, M. (2011). Human rights education: Ideology, location, and approaches. Human Rights Quarterly, 33(2), 481-508. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/23016023

Bastedo, M. N. (2009). Convergent institutional logics in public higher education: State policymaking and governing board activism. The Review of Higher Education, 32(2), 209-234. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.0.0045

Battilana, J., & Dorado, S. (2010). Building sustainable hybrid organizations: The case of commercial microfinance organizations. Academy of management Journal, 53(6), 1419-1440. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/29780265

Berger, P., & Luckmann, T. (1967). The social construction of reality. London: Allen Lane. London, England: Random House.

Blumer, H. (1931). Science without concepts. American Journal of Sociology, 36(4), 515-533. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/2767159

Boli, J., & Thomas, G. M. (1999). Constructing world culture: International nongovernmental organizations since 1875. California, CA: Stanford University Press.

Brunsson, N., & Jacobsson, B. (2000). A world of standards. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Carney, S. (2009). Negotiating policy in an age of globalization: Exploring educational “policyscapes” in Denmark, Nepal, and China. Comparative Education Review, 53(1), 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1086/593152

Carney, S., Rappleye, J., & Silova, I. (2012). Between faith and science: World culture theory and comparative education. Comparative Education Review, 56(3), 366-393. https://doi.org/10.1086/665708

Czarniawska, B., & Sevón, G. (1996). Translating organizational change (Vol. 56). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter.

Dale, R. (1999). Specifying globalization effects on national policy: a focus on the mechanisms. Journal of Education Policy, 14(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/026809399286468

DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147-160. https://doi.org/10.2307/2095101

Dunn, M. B., & Jones, C. (2010). Institutional logics and institutional pluralism: The contestation of care and science logics in medical education, 1967–2005. Administrative science quarterly, 55(1), 114-149. https://doi.org/10.2189/asqu.2010.55.1.114

Friedland, R., & Alford, R. R. (1991). Bringing society back in: Symbols, practices and institutional contradictions. In W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis (pp. 232-263). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

Green, A. (1997). Education, Globalization and the Nation State. Palgrave Macmillan: New York, NY.

Hafner‐Burton, & Tsutsui. (2005). Human Rights in a Globalizing World: The Paradox of Empty Promises. American Journal of Sociology, 110(5), 1373-1411. https://doi.org/10.1086/428442

Hall, P. A., Taylor, R. C. R., & Taylor, R. C. R. (1996). Political science and the three new institutionalisms. Political Studies, 44(5), 936-957. http://hdl.handle.net/10419/43185

Hirst, P., Thompson, G., & Bromley, S. (2015). Globalization in question. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2008). Creativity, action, service guide. Retrieved from https://www.scotch.wa.edu.au/upload/pages/ib-diploma-curriculum/cas-guide.pdf

International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2008). IB learner profile booklet. Retrieved from http://wcpsmd.com/sites/default/files/documents/IB_learner_profile_booklet.pdf

Jackall, R. (1988). The Moral Maze. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Kamens, D. H., Meyer, J. W., & Benavot, A. (1996). Worldwide patterns in academic secondary education curricula. Comparative Education Review, 116-138. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/1189047

Kasuya, K. (2001). Discourses of linguistic dominance: a historical consideration of French language ideology.InternationalReviewofEducation,47(3-4)235-251. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1017993507936

Kiuppis, F. (2018). Inclusion in sport: disability and participation. Sport in Society, 21(1), 4-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2016.1225882

Kraatz, M. S., & Block, E. S. (2008). Organizational implications of institutional pluralism. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, K. Sahlin-Andersson, & R. Suddaby (Eds.), The Sage handbook of organizational institutionalism (Vol. 840, pp. 243-275). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Leech, N. L., Dellinger, A. B., Brannagan, K. B., & Tanaka, H. (2010). Evaluating mixed research studies: A mixed methods approach. Journal of mixed methods research, 4(1), 17-31. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689809345262

Madsen, U. A. (2006). Imagining selves. School narratives from girls in Eritrea, Denmark and Nepal Ethnographic comparisons of globalization and schooling. Young, 14(3), 219-233. https://doi.org/10.1177/1103308806065817

Marginson, S., & Rhoades, G. (2002). Beyond national states, markets, and systems of higher education: A glonacal agency heuristic. Higher education, 43(3), 281-309. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014699605875

McEneaney, L. H., & Meyer, J. W. (2000). The content of the curriculum. In M. T. Hallinan (Ed.), Handbook of the Sociology of Education (pp. 189-211). New York, NY: Springer.

McFarland, S. (2010). Personality and support for universal human rights: A review and test of a structural model. Journal of personality, 78(6), 1735-1764. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00668.x

McFarland, S., Brown, D., & Webb, M. (2013). Identification with all humanity as a moral concept and psychological construct. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(3), 194-198. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721412471346

McFarland, S., & Mathews, M. (2005). Who cares about human rights? Political Psychology, 26(3), 365-385. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2005.00422.x

McFarland, S., Webb, M., & Brown, D. (2012). All humanity is my ingroup: A measure and studies of identification with all humanity. Journal of personality and social psychology, 103(5), 830. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0028724

Meyer, J. W., Bromley, P., & Ramirez, F. O. (2010). Human Rights in Social Science Textbooks: Cross-National Analyses, 1970-2008. Sociology of Education, 83(2), 111-134. https://doi.org/10.1177/00380407103679366

Meyer, J. W., & Ramirez, F. O. (2000). The world institutionalization of education. In J. Schriewer (Ed.), Discourse formation in comparative education (pp. 111-132). Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang.

Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83(2),340-363. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/27782933

Moses, J., & Knutsen, T. (2012). Ways of knowing: Competing methodologies in social and political research. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pache, A.-C., & Santos, F. (2013). Embedded in hybrid contexts: How individuals in organizations respond to competing institutional logics. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 39, 3-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2013)0039AB014

Parish, K. (2015). Studying Global Human Rights Education. Theoretical and Empirical Approaches. Opuscula Sociologica, 13(1), 23-35. https://doi.org/10.18276/os.2015.1-02

Parish, K. (2018). Logic hybridity within the International Baccalaureate: the case of a state school in Poland. Journal of Research in International Education, 17(1), 49-66. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475240918768986

Parish, K. (2019a). An embedded human rights logic? A comparative study of International Baccalaureate schools in Norway and Poland. Unpublished paper.

Parish, K. (2019b). A measure of human rights competence in students enrolled on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Oxford Review of Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2018.15518011

Phillips, D., & Schweisfurth, M. (2014). Comparative and international education: An introduction to theory, method, and practice: A&C Black.

Powell, W. W., & Bromley, P. (2013). New Institutionalism in the Analysis of Complex Organizations. In J. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (Vol. 2, pp. 764-769). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.

Ramirez, F. O. (2012). The world society perspective: Concepts, assumptions, and strategies. Comparative Education, 48(4), 423-439. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2012.693374

Ramirez, F. O., Suárez, D., & Meyer, J. W. (2007). The worldwide rise of human rights education. In C. Braslavsky, A. Benavot, & N. Truong (Eds.), School knowledge in comparative and historical perspective (pp. 35-52). New York, NY: Springer.

Russell, J. L. (2011). From Child’s Garden to Academic Press The Role of Shifting Institutional Logics in Redefining Kindergarten Education. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 236-267. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/27975289

Schmidt, V. A. (2008). Discursive institutionalism: The explanatory power of ideas and discourse. Annual review of political science, 11. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.11.060606.135342

Schriewer, J. (2012). Re-conceptualising the Global/Local Nexus: Meaning Constellations in the World Society. Special issue, Comparative Education, 48(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2012.737233

Schriewer, J. (2015). World culture re-contextualised : meaning constellations and path-dependencies in comparative and international education research. Oxford, England: Routledge.

Schwinn, T. (2012). Globalisation and regional variety: problems of theorisation. Comparative Education, 48(4), 525-543. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2012.728048

Scott, W. R. (2008). Institutions and organizations: ideas and interests (3rd ed. ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Silova, I., & Brehm, W. C. (2015). From myths to models: the (re) production of world culture in comparative education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 13(1), 8-33. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2014.967483

Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2004). The global politics of educational borrowing and lending. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Suárez, D., & Bromley, P. (2016). Institutional theories and levels of analysis: History, diffusion, and translation. In J. Schriewer (Ed.), World culture re-contextualised : meaning constellations and path-dependencies in comparative and international education research (pp. 139-159). Oxford, England: Routledge.

Tarc, P. (2009). Global dreams, enduring tensions: International Baccalaureate in a changing world. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Thornton, P. H. (2004). Markets from culture: Institutional logics and organizational decisions in higher education publishing. California, CA: Stanford University Press.

Thornton, P. H., & Ocasio, W. (1999). Institutional logics and the historical contingency of power in organizations: Executive succession in the higher education publishing industry, 1958–1990 1. American Journal of Sociology, 105(3), 801-843. https://doi.org/10.1086/210361

Thornton, P. H., & Ocasio, W. (2008). Institutional logics. In C. Oliver & R. Greenwood (Eds.), The Sage handbook of organizational institutionalism (Vol. 840, pp. 99-128). New York, NY: Sage.

Thornton, P. H., & Ocasio, W. (2013). Institutional logics. In L. L. Putnam & D. K. Mumby (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of organizational communication: Advances in theory, research, and methods (pp. 99-129): Sage Publications.

Thornton, P. H., Ocasio, W., & Lounsbury, M. (2012). The institutional logics perspective: A new approach to culture, structure, and process. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press

Tibbitts, F. (2002). Understanding what we do: Emerging models for human rights education. International Review of Education, 48(3-4), 159-171. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3445358

Tibbitts, F., & Kirschlaeger, P. (2010). Perspectives of research on human rights education. Journal of Human Rights Education, 2(1), 8-29. Retrived at http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/peace/files/2013/05/tibbitts_kirchschlaeger_research_hre_jhre_1_2010.pdf

Wang, Y. W., Davidson, M. M., Yakushko, O. F., Savoy, H. B., Tan, J. A., & Bleier, J. K. (2003). The scale of ethnocultural empathy: development, validation, and reliability. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50(2), 221. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.50.2.221

Wiseman, A. W. (2010). The uses of evidence for educational policymaking: Global contexts and international trends. Review of Research in Education, 34(1), 1-24. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/40588172

Wiseman, A. W., Astiz, M. F., & Baker, D. P. (2014). Comparative education research framed by neo-institutional theory: A review of diverse approaches and conflicting assumptions. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 44(5), 688-709. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2013.800783

Wiseman, A. W., & Chase-Mayoral, A. (2013). Shifting the discourse on neo-institutional theory in comparative and international education. In A. W. Wiseman & E. Anderson (Eds.), Annual Review of Comparative and International Education (pp. 99-126). Bradford, England: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Zilber, T. B. (2002). Institutionalization as an interplay between actions, meanings, and actors: The case of a rape crisis center in Israel. Academy of management Journal, 45(1), 234-254. https://doi.org/10.5465/3069294

Zucker, L. G. (1977). The role of institutionalization in cultural persistence. American Sociological Review, 726-743. https://doi.org/10.2307/2094862




How to Cite

Parish, K. (2019). A theoretical approach to understanding the global/local nex-us: the adoption of an institutional logics framework. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 3(2), 3–19. https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.3027