This site evolves from the nexus between globalization processes and education-policy making. Admittedly, globalization is an ambiguous term often conceptualized as interconnected material, human and ideational flows and networks (Appadurai 1996; Castells 2000; Marginson and Erlenawati 2005). These metaphors, however insightful and compelling, reduce globalization to a passive process and, in so doing, elide the question "who steers globalization processes?" While there has not emerged a singular actor on the global scale with the authority to formulate and implement national-level education policies (i.e. a supranational state), nonetheless both old and new state and non-state actors present a panoply of multi-layered relations that collectively affect decision-making, albeit unevenly.
After several years of debating globalization processes, the academy seems to have reached a contingent understanding that while state authority has not been eclipsed, it no longer commands the centrality in decision-making assumed in the post-war period. The contemporary state is "decentered" which implicates - both spatially and temporally - a qualitative shift in state authority. The notion of a "decentered state" suggests a greater role for both state and non-state actors with disparate ideologies. These include international organizations, transnational corporations and civil society actors that amplify, sustain, compete and resist globalization processes.
But the idea of a decentered state provides no hint of what might follow in terms of education policies except some vague understanding that whatever follows will depend on the indeterminate interplay of integrative and fragmenting forces issuing from both globalization and localization processes. Integrating forces are, for example, evident in the formation of private public partnerships in education, the creation of a regional higher education space in Europe, and potentially elsewhere, and policy convergence among principal international organizations regarding Education for All (EFA), the conceptualization of universal primary education as a global public good as formalized in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and various international human rights instruments, the promotion of English as a universal language, and cosmopolitan citizenship education. Conversely, fragmentation is associated with the uneven economic development within and between states and regions; inequitable access to education services, the ethnification of curricula in post-conflict states reinforcing group solidarities, gendered violence in schools, the impact of AIDS on education systems, and the endangered linguistic heritage of communities.
We suggest that to adequately understand these forces requires a multi-disciplinary, synthetic inquiry that might involve at least three interrelated dimensions: power (material and ideational), space (territorial and abstract), and identity. These may be addressed with reference to existing theories in comparative education that emphasize political economy such as classical and neo-Marxist and Gramscian-informed theories, or political-sociological approaches including neo-institutionalism, constructivism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, and post-modernism, or, alternatively, new frameworks altogether which we cannot even now outline. But theoretical and analytical constructs must also be accompanied by empirical evidence that supports, contradicts, advances or prompts revision of existing understandings.
Therefore, it is our hope that this website constitutes a port-of-call of sorts. First, by facilitating linkages between comparative international education with other disciplinary fields such as anthropology, geography, sociology, and political science, we might approach a transdisciplinary mode of inquiry (Fairclough 2000). Second, by constituting a transshipment point where authors share published and unpublished researches on global education governance we offer a site where tales are told, retold, negotiated and, reconstructed to render new approaches and paradigms. Third, through this virtual medium that moves across territorial boundaries with ease we invite contributors from across the globe to "decenter" knowledge production and transgress the space separating the metropoles from the hinterlands.