Welcome to online home of

Patricia Bromley

I am an Assistant Professor in Stanford's Graduate School of Education.

At the GSE I teach courses related to the sociology of education and global education policy in the International and Comparative Education Program. Previously, I worked in the Public Administration Program at the University of Utah. My research spans a range of fields including organization theory, comparative education, and the sociology of education, covering the substantive topics of minority and human rights, nonprofits/civil society, and globalization.

Stanford Graduate School of Education
Cubberley 311
485 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

Research Interests

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Overall, my work focuses on the rise and globalization of a culture emphasizing rational, scientific thinking and expansive forms of rights. Empirically, I draw on two settings - education systems and organizations - to show how the institutionalization of these new cultural emphases transforms societies worldwide.

Currently, I am working on a Spencer Foundation-funded project that examines the content of civic education in the US and Canada from 1850 to 2010. This research builds on earlier work that examines how civic education worldwide changes (e.g. towards more international emphases) in response to social and cultural rationalization and globalization.

I pursue a second line of institutional research that looks at the transformation of social and cultural domains of life globally, particularly through the emergence of formal organizations. A series of projects focus on the charitable sector, examining topics such as the rise of scientific goals (like research and evaluation), the use of strategic planning, formal responses to restrictions on political activity, and the emergence of codes of conduct. A recent book project (with John W. Meyer) entitled Hyper-organization: Global organizational expansion seeks to explain the growing numbers and increasing internal complexity of formal organization - worldwide, and across all sorts of sectors. Additional projects in progress examine how firms are being transformed by rationalized social and cultural pressures, through ratings systems on dimensions like environmental performance and in self-representations to stakeholders in annual reports.


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Publications Bromley, P., Schofer, E. & W. Longhofer. Forthcoming. “Organizing for Education: A Cross-National, Longitudinal Study of Civil Society Organizations and Education Outcomes.” Voluntas.

Bromley, P. & J. Lerch. 2018. “Human Rights as Cultural Globalization: The Rise of Human Rights in Textbooks, 1890-2013.” Pp. 346-356 in Fuchs, Eckhardt & Bock, Annekatrin (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Textbook Studies. Palgrave McMillan US.

Bromley, P. & A. Sharkey. 2017. “Casting Call: The Expanding Nature of Actorhood in US Firms, 1960-2010.” Accounting, Organization and Society. 59: 3-20.

Bromley, P. & J.W. Meyer. 2017. “'They Are All Organizations': The Cultural Roots of Blurring between the Nonprofit, Business, and Government Sectors.” Administration & Society. 49(7):939-966.

Jimenez, J., Lerch, J. & P. Bromley. 2017. “Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development in Social Science Textbooks.” European Journal of Education. 52(4): 460-476.

Brandtner, C., Bromley, P. & M. Tompkins-Stange. 2017. "'Walk the Line': How Institutional Influences Constrain Elites." Pp. 281-309 in Gehman, J., Lounsbury, M., and R. Greenwood, eds. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Volumes 49 & 50. Emerald Press.

Lerch, J., Bromley, P., Ramirez, F.O. & J.W. Meyer. 2017. “The Rise of Individual Agency in Conceptions of Society: Textbooks Worldwide, 1950-2011.” International Sociology. 32(1): 38-60.

Bromley, P. and W. Cole. 2017. “A Tale of Two Worlds: The Inter-State System and World Society in Social Science Textbooks, 1950-2010.” Globalisation, Societies and Education. 15(4): 425-447.

Bromley, P. 2016. “Empowered Individualism in World Culture: Agency and Equality in Canadian Textbooks, 1871-2006.” European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology. 3(2-3): 177-200.

Publications Bromley, P. & C.D. Orchard. 2016. “Managed Morality: The Rise of Codes of Conduct in the US Nonprofit Sector.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 45(2): 351-374.

Suarez, D. & Bromley, P. 2016. “Institutional Theories and Levels of Analysis: History, Diffusion, and Translation.” Pp. 139-159 in Schrwiewer, J., ed. World Culture Re-contextualised Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Bromley, P. 2016. "Policy and Administration as Culture: Organizational Sociology and Cross-National Education Trends." Pp 470-489 in Mundy, K., Green, A., Lingard, R. & A. Verger, eds. The Handbook of Global Policy-making in Education. Wiley-Blackwell.

Bromley, P. & J.W. Meyer. 2015. Hyper-organization: Global organizational expansion. London, UK: Oxford University Press.

Powell, W.W. & P. Bromley. 2015. “New Institutionalism and the Analysis of Complex Organizations.” In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition. Vol 16. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 764–769.

Sharkey, A. & P. Bromley. 2015. “Can Ratings Have Indirect Effects?: Evidence From the Organizational Response to Peers’ Environmental Ratings.” American Sociological Review. 80(1): 63-91.

Hwang, H. & P. Bromley. 2015. “Internal and External Determinants of Formal Plans in the Nonprofit Sector.” International Public Management Journal. 18(4): 568-588.

Bromley, P. 2014. “Legitimacy and the Contingent Diffusion of World Culture: Diversity and Human Rights in Social Science Textbooks, Divergent Cross-National Patterns (1970-2008).” Canadian Journal of Sociology 39(1): 1-44.

Meyer, J.W. & P. Bromley. 2013. “The Worldwide Expansion of 'Organization'.” Sociological Theory 31(4):366-389.

Bromley, P. 2013. “Holocaust Education and Human Rights: Holocaust Discussions in Social Science Textbooks Worldwide, 1970-2010.” Tertium Comparationis 19(1): 14-37.

Bromley, P. & W.W. Powell. 2012. "From Smoke and Mirrors to Walking the Talk: Decoupling in the Contemporary World." Academy of Management Annals 6(1): 483-530.

Suarez, D. & P. Bromley. 2012. "Institutionalizing a Global Social Movement: Human Rights as University Knowledge." American Journal of Education 118(3): 253-280.

Publications Bromley, P. & E. Mäkinen. 2012. "Diversity in Civic Education: Finland in Historical and Comparative Perspective." Journal of International Cooperation in Education 14(2): 19-34.

Terra, L. & P. Bromley. 2012. "The Globalization of Multicultural Education in Social Science Textbooks: Cross-national Analyses, 1950-2010." Multicultural Perspectives 14(3): 136-143.

Bromley, P., Hwang, H. & W.W. Powell. 2012. “Decoupling Revisited: Common Pressures, Divergent Strategies in the US Nonprofit Sector.” M@n@gement 15(5): 468-501.

Bromley, P., Meyer, J.W. & F.O. Ramirez. 2011. "Student-Centeredness in Social Science Textbooks, 1970-2008: A Cross-National Study." Social Forces 90(2): 547-570.

Bromley, P., Meyer, J.W. & F.O. Ramirez. 2011. "The Worldwide Spread of Environmental Discourse in History, Civics, and Social Studies Textbooks." Comparative Education Review 55(4): 517-545.

Bromley, P. 2011. "Multiculturalism and Human Rights in Civic Education: The Case of British Columbia, Canada." Educational Research 53(2): 151-164.

Bromley, P. 2010. "The Rationalization of Educational Development: Scientific Activities among International Non-Governmental Organizations." Comparative Education Review 54(4): 577-601.

Meyer, J.W., Bromley, P. & F.O. Ramirez. 2010. "Human Rights in Social Science Textbooks: Cross-National Analysis, 1970-2008." Sociology of Education 83(2): 111-134.

Bromley, P. & M. Andina. 2010. "Standardizing Chaos: A Neo-institutional Analysis of the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction." Compare: A Journal of International and Comparative Education 40(5): 575-588.

Bromley, P. & S.G. Russell. 2010. "Holocaust as History and Human Rights: Holocaust Education in Social Science Textbooks, 1970-2008." Prospects: UNESCO's Quarterly Review of Comparative Education 40(1): 153-173.

Bromley, P. 2009. "Cosmopolitanism in Civic Education: Cross-National Trends, 1970-2008." Current Issues in Comparative Education 12(1): 33-44.

Ramirez, F.O., Bromley, P. & S.G. Russell. 2009. "The Valorization of Humanity and Diversity." Multicultural Education Review 1(1): 29-54.