Type de publication:

Book Chapter


Accountability Policies in Education. A Comparative and Multilevel Analysis in France and Quebec, Springer, p.151-183 (2019)

Numéro d'appel:





This chapter analyzes the processes of mediation which affect or orient what classic policy analysis calls “the implementation” of policy. We show the localized recontextualizations and interpretations of these policies, that is, the mediations, by intermediate actors. We consider first the implementation of performance-based accountability policies from the perspective of their convergence/divergence among French académies and among Quebec school boards. Contrary to what an approach centered on formal institutions prevalent in the two case studies would suggest, we demonstrate that the divergence is strong in the French centralized system, while it is weak in the decentralized system in Quebec. This paradox can be explained by the fact that a number of factors of institutional isomorphism (normative, mimetic, or coercive) were at play in the Quebec situation, while they were weaker or absent in France. Second, we highlight the various logics of mediation present in the two national contexts. Drawing on Malen’s typology (Revisiting policy implementation as a political phenomenon. In: New directions in education policy implementation, SUNY Press, Albany, pp 83–105, 2006), we show that logics of dilution, appropriation, and amplification of national policies are present and result from a number of internal processes within the académies or school boards. In fact, these bodies constitute local educational orders, where mediations are modulated and affected by the context (institutional and market), managers’ ethos, actors’ configuration, and the problematization of educational issues. From these logics and factors of mediation stem different varieties of intermediate governance by results—bureaucratic, reflexive, and regulatory—with different consequences on the local actors.


Humanities and Social Sciences/Political scienceHumanities and Social Sciences/EducationBook sections

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