Review of Educational Research

Educational Foundations (EDEF) Professor Brent Edwards’ article, “World Bank Influence on Policy Formation in Education: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” has been published in the Review of Educational Research, ranked #1 in the world by Journal Citation Reports (JCR)*. This article follows his book, Rethinking World Bank Influence: Governance Reforms and the Ritual Aid Dance in Indonesia, released in May.

From the Abstract

The World Bank has been called the most influential organization in education reform globally. While much literature has been produced about the World Bank, the field of education lacks a systematic discussion of what has been reported about how the World Bank influences policy formation at the country level. Through the conduct of a theoretically informed systematic literature review of 70 publications, this article clarifies and provides examples for the numerous ways that the World Bank influences policy formation. The article concludes by suggesting areas where research on the World Bank can be improved, namely, through more explicit attention to the theoretical and methodological approaches employed. The goal of this review is to encourage scholars to be more specific in their conceptualizations and discussions of World Bank influence, to go beyond general claims of policy imposition or agenda shaping.

About the Author

Brent EdwardsDr. Brent Edwards Jr. is the EDEF Graduate Chair and Professor of Theory and Methodology in the Study of Education. His research focuses on the global governance of education; education policy, politics, and political economy with a focus on low-income countries; and democratic and socially just alternatives to dominant education models. His work has been published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. He received his PhD in International Education Policy from the University of Maryland.

*Journal Citation Reports’ (JCR) rankings in the education and educational research category include 267 peer-reviewed scholarly journals from around the world. JCR ranked journals by their 2021 impact factor, which is the total number of 2021 citations of each journal’s 2019 and 2020 articles, divided by the journal’s total number of articles published during those two years. For the fifth year in a row, Review of Educational Research (RER) is first in the rankings.


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