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Article

Liberal Peacebuilding and Its Critiques  

Pol Bargués

Critical perspectives not only evaluate and assess critically the wrongs of peace operations but also open new avenues for peacebuilding. At their best, critiques become lessons learned, sources of inspiration and regulative norms that contribute to the advancement of policy thinking and practice. Three imaginaries of critiques of liberal peace stand out: a locally driven peace that emerges from below; nonlinear interventions to tackle different aspects of crises ; and indirect forms of facilitation and strengthening resilience. Scholarly critiques have been influential in pushing the practice of peace operations away from the top-down, short-term, and direct mechanisms of governance of the liberal peace.

Article

Natural Hazards Governance in China  

Timothy Sim and Jun Lei Yu

China is a vast country frequently impacted by multiple natural hazards. All natural disasters have been reported in China, except volcanic eruptions. Almost every region in China is threatened by at least one type of natural hazard, and the rural areas are most vulnerable, with fewer resources and less developed disaster protective measures as well as lower levels of preparedness. In the first 30 years since its establishment in 1949, the Chinese government, hindered by resource constraints, encouraged local communities to be responsible for disaster response. As the country’s economy grew exponentially, after it opened its doors to the world in the late 1970s, China’s natural hazard governance (NHG) system quickly became more top-down, with the government leading the way for planning, coordinating, directing, and allocating resources for natural disasters. The development of China’s NHG is linked to the evolution of its ideologies, legislation system, and organizational structures for disaster management. Ancient China’s disaster management was undergirded by the ideology that one accepted one’s fate passively in the event of a disaster. In contemporary China, three ideologies guide the NHG: (a) passive disaster relief characterized by “help oneself by engaging in production”; (b) active disaster management characterized by “emergency management”; and (c) optimized disaster risk governance characterized by “multiple stakeholders working together.” Meanwhile, the NHG legislation and systems have become more open, transparent, and integrated one over time. Evidenced by the unprecedented growth of social organizations and private companies that engaged in disaster-related activities during and after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, discussions on integrating bottom-up capacities with the top-down system have increased recently. The Chinese government started purchasing services from social organizations and engaging them in building disaster model communities (officially known as “Comprehensive Disaster Reduction Demonstration Communities”) in recent years. These are, potentially, two specific ways for social organizations to contribute to China’s NHG system development.

Article

Historical Development of Lesson Study in Japan  

Kanako N. Kusanagi

Lesson study (jyugyo kenkyu) is an approach to professional development that originated in Japan 150 years ago. It was first introduced to the United States in the late 1990s and is now widely practiced in over 50 countries. Lesson study is often perceived as an effective form of professional development aiming to improve mathematics and science instruction, motivated by the high performances of Japanese students as evaluated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). However, lesson study is more than a model for professional development. Lesson study has developed dynamically over time, accommodating educational contexts and the needs of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. Nowadays, lesson study is used as an approach to lesson analysis, curriculum development, practice-oriented research, demonstration lessons, and various forms and levels of professional development. Lesson study continues to be practiced in the early 21st century as the practice is socially constructed and context-dependent; thus, lesson study is flexible in adapting to the local system. This flexibility and adaptability make it difficult to grasp the comprehensive picture of lesson study. Understanding the unique Japanese educational contexts that have supported lesson study is essential for foreign practitioners and researchers of lesson study as the lack of the necessary supporting conditions often poses challenges for implementing lesson study abroad. Lesson study continues to exist in the early 21st century as it has been facilitated by sociocultural norms in a Japanese educational context and has built upon the professional traditions of Japanese teachers. The focus is on discussing the sociocultural contexts that have supported the dynamic development of lesson study since the late 19th century. For this purpose, “sociocultural” refers to the theoretical space of social relations and cultural practice (Dowling, 2009). For example, a collaborative school culture is not a fixed state or end-product but negotiated through the social relations of the school system that regulates the daily responsibilities, actions, and interactions among managers, teachers, and students around the shared goals. Lesson study has developed under the influence of various factors, including educational theories, approaches, and ideologies, both domestically and abroad. Lesson study is supported by a holistic approach in terms of many aspects such as student learning, teacher-initiated inquiry centered on student learning, the culture of collaboration in professional development, collaboration between teachers and researchers, personal, contextual, and narrative reflection on teaching experience, and flexibility in the learning system that works to address the needs of the educational issues of the time. Nonetheless, contesting forces have contributed to the diversification of lesson study: (a) policymakers’ efforts to standardize lessons and bottom-up initiatives of teachers to experiment with practice; (b) top-down efforts to institutionalize professional development and bottom-up efforts on the part of teachers to work together to realize their educational ideals; and (c) scientific investigation by researchers and narrative, descriptive and subjective reflections on practice by teachers.

Article

Implementation Structures: The Use of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Policy Implementation  

Mark T. Imperial

Implementation research emerged as an effort to understand the “missing link” between the expression of a governmental intention and the world of action and results. In many policy settings, this requires implementation structures or networks comprised of parts of organizations both within (vertically) and across (horizontally) levels of government. Increasingly, this involves structures that incorporate organizations from the private and nonprofit sectors. Therefore, effective interorganizational policy implementation requires building networks with the correct balance of federal, state, and local control to achieve the collective objectives of these actors. Consequently, the challenge of managing within these networked implementation structures is quite different than what is found in a typical hierarchical organization. There are three stages of intellectual development in implementation research. Early scholarship typically used case studies to examine detailed episodes of policy implementation to identify problems and challenges. A more sophisticated approach to research soon emerged that emphasized identifying variables crucial to implementation “success.” Two competing perspectives soon characterized this stage of intellectual development. The top-down approach argued that implementation problems are minimized through careful specification of procedures. From their perspective, implementation was largely an administrative challenge. Conversely, the bottom-up perspective argued that effective implementation allows policy to be adapted based on the interaction of a policy with the local institutional setting. For bottom-uppers, context matters, and implementation involves bargaining rather than the explicit control of higher-level decision makers. Some of the notable efforts to synthesize these perspectives are then examined. However, these efforts were hindered by obstacles such as different philosophical perspectives and pragmatic realities about how a polycentric governmental system functions, the failure to embrace a longitudinal perspective, and the improper specification of the unit of analysis. While the volume of research has declined since its heyday in the 1980s, the so-called “third generation” of research that succeeded it has become much more rigorous. However, a generally agreed upon theory of implementation remains lacking. A competing approach to implementation scholarship emerged during the top-down and bottom-up debate. It argued that the choice between these two approaches was a false one. Instead, the core implementation challenge is one of governance and crafting implementation structures that deliver services. This stream of research grew largely out of the bottom-up approach but argued that the proper unit of analysis is the “network” rather than a policy or statute. This proved to be a useful methodological approach for identifying the networks used to “implement” policies and programs. A variety of new perspectives on “networked” policy implementation soon emerged out of this implementation structure tradition. Research on implementation networks was soon joined by the growth of new literatures in areas such as intergovernmental management (IGM), network governance, collaboration, and institutional analysis and development that also provide useful insights about the challenge of “managing” within implementation structures. Moving forward, there is much that implementation scholars can draw upon and contribute to advance the collective understanding of how to “manage” within networks.

Article

Making Institutions Work From the Bottom Up in Africa  

Moussa P. Blimpo, Admasu Asfaw Maruta, and Josephine Ofori Adofo

Well-functioning institutions are essential for stable and prosperous societies. Despite significant improvement during the past three decades, the consolidation of coherent and stable institutions remains a challenge in many African countries. There is a persistent wedge between the de jure rules, the observance of the rules, and practices at many levels. The wedge largely stems from the fact that the analysis and design of institutions have focused mainly on a top-down approach, which gives more prominence to written laws. During the past two decades, however, a new strand of literature has emerged, focusing on accountability from the bottom up and making institutions more responsive to citizens’ needs. It designs and evaluates a mix of interventions, including information provision to local communities, training, or outright decentralization of decision-making at the local level. In theory, accountability from the bottom up may pave the way in shaping the institutions’ nature at the top—driven by superior localized knowledge. The empirical findings, however, have yielded a limited positive impact or remained mixed at best. Some of the early emerging regularities showed that information and transparency alone are not enough to generate accountability. The reasons include the lack of local ownership and the power asymmetry between the local elites and the people. Some of the studies have addressed many of these constraints at varying degrees without much improvement in the outcomes. A simple theoretical framework with multiple equilibria helps better understand this literature. In this framework, the literature consists of attempts to mobilize, gradually or at once, a critical mass to shift from existing norms and practices (inferior equilibrium) into another set of norms and practices (superior equilibrium). Shifting an equilibrium requires large and/or sustained shocks, whereas most interventions tend to be smaller in scope and short-lived. In addition, accountability at the bottom is often neglected relative to rights. If norms and practices within families and communities carry similar features as those observed at the top (e.g., abuse of one’s power), then the core of the problem is beyond just a wedge between the ruling elite and the citizens.

Article

Inclusive Education in Central America and the Caribbean (CA-DR)  

Marta Caballeros, Jeannette Bran, and Gabriela Castro

Inclusive education, as stated in declarations and human development goals, features in the educational policies being implemented in Central American and Caribbean (CA-DR) countries (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic). The policies seek to give the entire population of each country permanent access to quality education services, and they have a particular focus on people with disabilities. However, there are considerable challenges to be overcome, caused by a combination of historical factors and the sociopolitical and economic context. Some of the countries still have significant levels of poverty and inequity, both of which hinder the development of inclusive education. At the same time, inclusive education is expected to help eradicate social exclusion and facilitate social mobility. This paradigm began as an effort to secure disabled people’s right to education, and countries have since been working to offer disabled people access to regular schools. Nevertheless, segregated education services or services with an integration aim still persist. Moreover, poverty causes many students to drop out of school, or never to enroll at all. Each country has vulnerable or marginalized groups in its population. The work being done, from an inclusive perspective, follows two main routes: reorienting education systems toward inclusivity; and offering these groups affirmative actions to ensure their regular attendance at mainstream schools that have quality programs for all. If CA-DR countries are to achieve inclusive education, they must fulfill two requirements. Firstly, they must develop intersectorial interventions that revert causes of exclusion—education policies in isolation are unable to do that. Secondly, they must take action to ensure that inclusive education is achieved in practice in the classroom. There are advances toward inclusion, but more work is needed to answer the question of how CA-DR countries can develop inclusive societies, based on social protection and quality education services for all, that give proper attention to diversity, practice equity, and promote social mobility. Bottom-up strategies are valuable in the effort to achieve inclusive education.

Article

Shared Sense-Making, Agency, and Learning in School Development in Finnish School Reforms  

Tiina Soini, Kirsi Pyhältö, and Janne Pietarinen

Curriculum reform is at the heart of educational change and impacts pupils, teachers, other educational professionals, and society at large. Moreover, the way we go about developing our schools and designing curricula defines our future and reveals where we stand regarding the role of education in society. In order to research the desired aims of reforms, it is crucial to understand curriculum making: How does the school develop, and what regulates the development? Learning is at the core of school development. It can be considered as both the aim and the primary means of achieving and sustaining any change in schools. Accordingly, the impact of a school reform is highly dependent on the quality of learning enabled within the school communities. Particularly, the extent to which the reform engages teachers in active and skillful learning by promoting their professional agency is a central determinant of the reform’s outcomes. The core curriculum is the single most influential regulator of school development in Finland. It is renewed approximately every 10 years and provides a common direction and basis for renewing school education and instruction, and sets the framework and foundation for district- and school-level curriculum development work. Teachers in Finland are curriculum makers not only in the class and school, but also at the district and even national levels of the school system. In such a system, teacher autonomy and teacher agency are at the core of school development. Moreover, teachers’ ability to understand the aims of the reform and to integrate, modify, and adopt them as part of their pedagogical practices is essential. This requires making sense of their aims. In Finland, shared sense-making has been the main strategy in the latest participatory reforms, with the aim of promoting transformative learning in professional communities in order to reach reform goals.

Article

Multilevel Theory, Methods, and Analyses in Management  

Michael T. Braun, Steve W. J. Kozlowski, and Goran Kuljanin

Multilevel theory (MLT) details how organizational constructs and processes operate and interact within and across levels. MLT focuses on two different inter-level relationships: bottom-up emergence and top-down effects. Emergence is when individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors are shaped by interactions and come to manifest themselves as collective, higher-level phenomena. The resulting higher-level phenomena can be either common, shared states across all individuals (i.e., compositional emergence) or stable, unique, patterned individual-level states (i.e., compilational emergence). Top-down effects are those representing influences from higher levels on the thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors of individuals or other lower-level units. To date, most theoretical and empirical research has studied the top-down effects of either contextual variables or compositional emerged states. Using predominantly self-report survey methodologies collected at a single time point, this research commonly aggregates lower-level responses to form higher-level representations of variables. Then, a regression-based technique (e.g., random coefficient modeling, structural equation modeling) is used to statistically evaluate the direction and magnitude of the hypothesized effects. The current state of the literature as well as the traditional statistical and methodological approaches used to study MLT create three important knowledge gaps: a lack of understanding of the process of emergence; how top-down and bottom-up relationships change over time; and how inter-individual relationships within collectives form, dissolve, and change. These gaps make designing interventions to fix or improve the functioning of organizational systems incredibly difficult. As such, it is necessary to broaden the theoretical, methodological, and statistical approaches used to study multilevel phenomena in organizations. For example, computational modeling can be used to generate precise, dynamic theory to better understand the short- and long-term implications of multilevel relationships. Behavioral trace data, wearable sensor data, and other novel data collection techniques can be leveraged to capture constructs and processes over time without the drawbacks of survey fatigue or researcher interference. These data can then be analyzed using cutting-edge social network and longitudinal analyses to capture phenomena not readily apparent in hierarchically nested cross-sectional research.

Article

Global and Regional Cooperation on Migration  

Andrew Geddes

The problem of international migration is that global cooperation is somewhat rare. If international cooperation is to develop, then it will depend on states; but effective cooperation would also impose real constraints on states. Moreover, as states and their borders give meaning to international migration, it follows that the development, consolidation, and transformation of the state system is a key factor determining the possibilities for the global and regional governance of migration to develop. Existing forms of regional integration and their migration provisions as well as regional consultation processes (RCPs) can serve as a mechanism for intraregional communication, the sharing of knowledge, and for the dissemination of policy ideas and practices. The EU has already been discussed as the world’s most highly developed form of regional integration. It is the only international organization with the power and capacity to make and implement laws through its own institutional system that must be implemented by member states. The EU moreover has a highly developed system of internal free movement for nationals of its own states and has developed a border-free travel area for participating states. These developments constitute the hallmark of a highly developed intra-EU migration framework linked to the creation of the “single market.”