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European Citizens under Construction: The Bologna process analysed from a governmentality perspective

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Abstract

This article focuses on problematizing the harmonisation of higher education in Europe today. The overall aim is to analyse the construction of the European citizen and the rationality of governing related to such a construction. The specific focus will be on the rules and standards of reason in higher education reforms which inscribe continuums of values that exclude as they include. Who is and who is not constructed as a European citizen? Documents on the Bologna process produced in Europe and in Sweden are analysed drawing on the Foucauldian notion of governmentality, showing a neoliberal rationality of governing. The European citizen needs to become flexible, autonomous and self-regulating as a way of facing the threats of the constantly changing future. The technique of diversity is a condition of possibility for constructing such a citizen and for harmonising higher education in Europe. Further, the current power relations in the discourse define what is and what is not European, thus constructing ‘the other’, the one who is excluded.

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