Dr Eva Hartmann

Lecturer in Sociology of Education at Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Lecturer in Sociology of Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Dr Hartmann is a Lecturer in Sociology of Education, Political and Global Sociology.

She graduated in Sociology and holds a doctorate in Political Science (specialised in International Relations). This educational background informs the way she seeks to interrelate educational research with sociology and international studies. A sociological account of education rejects an understanding of education as just one of many policy fields, as political science tends to do. But it also avoids a narrow “educationalist” perspective on education that does not account for the broader societal picture. The sociology of education she seeks to contribute to draws on critical state theory, political economy, economic sociology, sociology of professions and postcolonial studies with a view to better understanding the dialectical interaction between society, education and power. The Frankfurt School and in particular teachers like Gayatri Spivak, Nancy Fraser, Iris Young, Juergen Habermas, Judith Butler and Bob Jessop have informed her own intellectual journey.

Her empirical research predominantly focuses on the internationalisation of higher education but also addresses issues of vocational education and further education. Past research focused on the World Bank as a knowledge bank, the dependence of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other free trade agreements on UNESCO in the context of cross-border mobility of skilled labour (mode 4). This interest led her study in more depth how the UNESCO Lisbon Convention became integrated into the Bologna Process and how this process influenced in return other regional integration process. This study drew her attention to the important role of regions for globalisation but also reminded her of the complexity of international educational policy. In more recent years, she devoted more attention to the role of private actors, like quality assurance agencies, professional associations but also multinational companies, in setting international education standards. These studies helped her develop a notion of transnational private authority that requires a rethinking of the public-private divide not only in the field of education provision but also in terms of education policy.

Her current research focuses in particular on geopolitics and higher education where she further develops the notion of educational diplomacy. One ongoing research project examines how geopolitical interests underpin current changes in the recruitment of non-EU international students, comparing France, Germany and the UK. A second research project studies transnational education provisions and their geopolitical implications. A third project explores the role of geopolitics in the digitalisation of education.

Research Topics

  • International higher education
  • Higher education, vocational education and training, further education
  • Geopolitics, postcoloniality
  • Migration, cross-border mobility of students and skilled labour
  • Social mobility (national and international)
  • Privatisation of education and standard-setting
  • Digitalisation and platformisation of higher education and further education