e Shiing Roles of Moldovan Universities in Regional Development: a Critical Policy Perspective
In this study I draw on critical educational policy and policy network analysis, which bring the critical and structural insights of sociology and critique functionalist approaches to educational policy (Henry et al., 2001; Padure and Jones, 2009; Rhodes, 1997; Schugurensky, 2003). Critical policy research denes policies as authoritative allocations of values and sees them as value laden and context bounded. By exposing the sources of domination, critical scholars draw attention to the sources and distribution of power and raise questions about the shaping and timing of policy agendas. e analysis of policies understood as texts and discourses plays an important role in understanding power relations in higher education, how power is exercised and which actors benet from the existing power distribution. Analysis from a critical perspective of university mission and governance arrangements in Moldova during two distinct periods of development – as a Soviet republic and as an independent state – illuminates key aspects of decision making, such as power relations between various policy actors, the role of informal connections and the impact of social discourses and local politics on university reforms.