Policy formation in the context of global governance: Rational, organizational, and political perspectives on policymaking in El Salvador

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Plan 2021 is a national education strategy released by the Salvadoran Ministry of Education (MINED) in March of 2005 to guide education policy through 2021. According to the policy itself, preparation for Plan 2021 began in June 2004 and was the product of four disparate inputs. These include: (a) review of existing research on education produced between 2002 and 2004, (b) creation of a Presidential Commission to offer recommendations, (c) inclusion of commitments made by El Salvador to international agreements (e.g., Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals), and (d) execution of a series of consultations at the local level throughout the country (MINED 2005b). Thus, according to the policy document itself, not only were each of these four inputs given equal weight, but, additionally, there was no involvement by international actors, with the MINED alone managing the process. However, even a cursory search for information related to Plan 2021 indicates that a range of international actors was involved, thus raising questions about how official accounts of the policy's formation diverge from the process as it actually happened. The case of this policy likewise raises questions about how to investigate and interpret such processes. The present paper not only reveals how Plan 2021 was actually made but also attempts to make a contribution by suggesting the relevance of multi-perspective analysis, in addition to applying multiple perspectives—namely, rational, organizational, and political perspectives—to the interpretation of this case. The content of this analysis is particularly relevant at this point in time to the field of international education policy as scholars are grappling with how to understand and investigate processes of education policy formation characterized by involvement and influence from external (i.e., international) actors. The article concludes by underscoring the utility of this framework while also recommending that it be used in conjunction with insights from recent scholarship on the global governance of education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-96
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Education policy
  • El Salvador
  • Global governance
  • International actors
  • Policy formation
  • Policymaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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