The emergence of Cambodian civil society within global educational governance: a morphogenetic approach to agency and structure

D. Brent Edwards, William Brehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses Margaret Archer’s morphogenetic approach to analyze the emergence of civil society within global educational governance. The purpose is to understand the intersection of historical structures with global actors and spaces that have accompanied the globalization of education. Based on findings from a study on the impact in Cambodia of the Civil Society Education Fund – sponsored by the Global Campaign for Education – we first identify the relevant sociocultural, political-economic, and governance structures within which the politics of education is embedded in Cambodia. Then, we detail the relational processes through which Cambodian civil society has been able to join and, in so doing, modify the structures of education governance. The value of the morphogenetic approach is its treatment of time – that is, the way that it temporarily separates structure and agency in order to make possible an analysis of the dynamics of global education governance. While this approach is not new, we suggest that a morphogenetic approach can help in understanding the ways actors come together to create the processes and co-constitute the spaces through which existing educational structures and policies are made and remade across time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-293
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 4
Externally publishedYes



  • Cambodia
  • civil society
  • educational governance
  • globalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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