Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Second Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield

Third Advisor

Neil Pinney

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis examines French education policy in response to European Union (EU) initiatives since the 1970's. It demonstrates that policy-making at the EU and national level have both supported decentralization, i.e. supranational and national policies encourage more regional development and local decision-making. A new model, termed "Europeanization," accounts for the new regionalism and multi-level governance in the EU. The three hypotheses tested in this thesis claim that if French higher education is becoming europeanized, then the number of actors involved in policy-making will increase, funding for higher education will become more diversified, and participation rates of regional universities will grow.

The evidence derived from a longitudinal case study of France suggests that French higher education since the 1980's involves an increased number of actors, an expansion of regional funding, and growing regional and local participation in EU programs. From a theoretical perspective, this thesis builds on intergration theories like transactionalism and neo-functionalism, but shifts the focus to more regional autonomy and local decision-making in the process of integrating education policies in Europe.