Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis presents a comparative study of the regional education policies and programs in three Latin American (LA) regional entities (hereafter ‘regimes’ and ‘regionalisms’): The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), and Pacific Alliance (PA). Each of these represents different regionalisms coexisting in LA (hegemonic, post-hegemonic, and counter-hegemonic regionalisms), which makes them ideal for comparative analysis. This project aims to compare these very diverse regimes to interrogate the similarities and dissimilarities, as well as discover who (the regional or the global) is shaping education systems in this area of the world. These objectives are articulated in the research questions: How do different types of regimes define the education policies implemented at the regional level? And, how is the regional shaping the regional educational ideologies, or is the region following global education governance and standards?The study begins with the content and thematic analysis of 68 regional documents (30 from MERCOSUR, 21 from PA, and 17 from ALBA). A comparative analysis of these documents follows, using education programs as common categories. Finally, it compares regional policies and programs against global educational standards (from MDGs, EFA, and SDGs), looking for the presence and impact of global goals in regional documents. The comparative analysis concludes that it is possible to see characteristics of the type of regionalism in all the regional educational programs in which each of them was developed. Therefore, despite the similarities, regional educational programs and policies are not isomorphic in this world region. However, some similarities also led to the conclusion that global governance remains a strong force in LA regionalisms. The conclusion section raises some concerns and hypotheses regarding the coexistence of both regional and global policy governance and the apparent lack of isomorphism across LA regimes. The study contributes to the understanding of regionalism in LA by presenting a novel comparison within the field of comparative regionalism that looks at LA regions without using Europe as a benchmark. In addition, it employs and merges different categorizations of regionalism traditionally used for separate regions of the world.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.