Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)Waseda University






PhD (Comparative and International Education)


Assistant Professor



Monthly Spotlight

[Monthly Spotlight] is forcusing on a researcher to introduce his/her research.
Collective memory in the Mekong: schools, histories, and politics BREHM, Will, Assistant Professor

Research Topic

My research interests include the intersection of comparative and international education with international relations and the political economy of development, focused primarily in Southeast Asia. I am currently conducting a comparative research study that explores the construction of collective memory inside schools across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (funded by a Kakenhi research grant).

My other areas of research include higher educational regionalization in the Asia Pacific, private tutoring in Cambodia, the history of comparative education in the USA, civil society and international aid to education, and community based education in Afghanistan.

Education and Academic Employment

2004-2008: Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, College of Arts and Sciences, Lehigh University (USA).
2008-2010: Masters of Education in Globalization and Education Change, College of Education, Lehigh University (USA).
2012-2015: Doctor of Philosophy in Policy, Administration, and Social Sciences, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong.
2015-2017: JSPS Post-doctoral research fellow, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo.
2017-present: Assistant Professor, WIAS, Waseda University.

Fields of Research Interests

Comparative and International Education
International Development in Education
Globalization and Regionalization
Southeast and Central Asian Studies

Academic Publications

[1] Brehm, W. (Under Review). Cambodia for Sale: Everyday Practices of Privatization in School and Society.

[2] Brehm, W. and Kitamura, Y. (Eds). (in preparation). Historical Memory in the Mekong: Schools, histories, politics.

Edited Journal Issues

[1] Silova, I. and Brehm, W.C. (Eds.) (2010). Speaking of Brickman, European Education: Issues and Studies, 42(2), pp. 1-100.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

[11] Brehm, W. (2017). Historical memory and educational privatization: A portrait from Cambodia. Ethnography and Education. DOI: 10.1080/17457823.2017.1387065

[10] Brehm, W. (2017). The is and the ought of Knowing: Ontological Observations on Shadow Education Research in Cambodia. Southeast Asian Studies, 6(3), 485-503.

[9] Edwards, D.B. Jr., Brehm, W. and Storen, I. (2017). Global governance and the politics of education in Cambodia: A case study of the Civil Society Education Fund. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2017.1313102

[8] Edwards, D.B., Jr. & Brehm, W.C. (2015). The emergence of civil society within Cambodian educational governance: A morphogenetic approach to agency and structure in global education policy. Journal of Education Policy, 30(2), pp. 275-293.

[7] Silova, I. and Brehm, W.C. (2015). From myths to models: The (re)production of world culture theory in comparative education. Globalisation, Education and Societies, 13(1), pp. 8-33.

[6] Brehm, W.C. and Silova, I. (2014). Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia: Equity implications of private tutoring. Journal of Educational Research Online, 6(1), pp. 94-116.

[5] Silova, I, and Brehm, W.C. (2010). An American construction of European education space. European Educational Research Journal, 9(4), pp. 457-470.

[4] Silova, I. and Brehm, W.C. (2010). For the love of knowledge: William W. Brickman and his comparative education. European Education: Issues and Studies, 42(2), pp. 17-36.

[3] Brehm, W.C. and Silova, I. (2010). The Ignorant Donor: A Radical Re-imagination of International Aid, Development, and Education. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 13(1), pp. 27-34.

[2] Silova, I. and Brehm, W. C. (2009). Education and geopolitics in a changing Europe: Forty years of scholarship in European Education. European Education: Issues and Studies, 41(2), pp. 7-30.

[1] Brehm, W.C. (2008). 8 in 10: A realistic approach to oil reduction in America. Lehigh Review, 16, pp. 103 – 107.

Book Chapters

[17] Brehm, W. (forthcoming). “Constructing memory in Cambodia: ‘Cautious resistance and calculated conformity.’” In W. Brehm and Y. Kitamura (eds.) Historical Memory in the Mekong: Schools, histories, politics.

[16] Metro, R. and Brehm, W. (forthcoming). “The UNESCO shared histories Curriculum: Paradoxes and possibilities.” In W. Brehm and Y. Kitamura (eds.) Historical Memory in the Mekong: Schools, histories, politics.

[15] Phuaphansawat, V. and Brehm, W. (forthcoming). “Whose kingdoms and whose settlement? Insights from Thai history textbooks.” In W. Brehm and Y. Kitamura (eds.) Historical Memory in the Mekong: Schools, histories, politics.

[14] Brehm, W. (in press, 2019). “Global Summitry and Clientelism in Cambodian Higher Education” in Jarvis, D.S.L. and Mok, J.K.H. (Eds.) Higher Education Governance in Asia: Policy Approaches, Innovations and Transitions.

[13] Brehm, W. and Silova, I. (2019). Five Generations of NGOs in Education: From Humanitarianism to Global Capitalism. In T. Davies (ed.) Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations (pp. 283-296). Oxon, UK: Routledge.

[12] Brehm, W. (2018). “The challenges of human rights education in the Mekong: Disputed histories, contested identities.” In Cha, Y.K, Ham, S., and Lee, M. (Eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Multicultural Education Research in Asia Pacific (pp. 104-119). New York: Routledge.

[11] Brehm, W. (2018). “Private Tutoring in Southeast Asia:  Knowledge Economies, Positional Goods, and Double Entendres.” In Kennedy, K. and Chi-Kin Lee, J. (Eds) Handbook on Schools and Schooling in Asia (pp. 333-342). New York: Routledge.

[10] Hagai, S., Kitamura, Y., Khlok, V.R., and Brehm, W. (2017). “Ideologies inside textbooks: Vietnamization and re-Khmerization of political education in Cambodia during the 1980s.” In Jim Williams (Ed.) (Re)Constructing Memory: School and the Imagination of the Nation, Vol. 2 (pp. 49-73). Rotterdam: Sense Publishing.

[9] Brehm, W. C. and Silova, I. (2016). “Creating a foundation: The origins of education and psychology study at Lehigh University (1900s-1930s)” In Leight, R.L., Silova, I., and Aktas, F. Lehigh University College of Education: 100 Years of Excellence (pp. 1-20). Bethlehem: Lehigh University College of Education.

[8] Brehm, W.C. (2016). “The contemporary landscape of education in Cambodia: Hybrid Spaces of the ‘Public’ and ‘Private.'” In K. Brickell and S. Springer Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia (pp. 271-282), New York: Routledge.

[7] Edwards, D.B. and Brehm, W.C. (2016) “Getting to the decision-making table in educational governance: The emergence of Cambodian civil society within the ‘new global geometry of power.’” In Y. Kitamura, D.B. Edwards Jr., S. Chhinn, & J. Williams. (Eds.). The political economy of schooling in Cambodia: Issues of equity and quality (pp. 35-53). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

[6] Brehm, W. C. (2016). “The structures and agents enabling educational corruption in Cambodia: Shadow education and the business of examinations.” In Y. Kitamura, D.B. Edwards Jr., S. Chhinn, & J. Williams. (Eds.). The political economy of schooling in Cambodia: Issues of equity and quality (pp. 99-119). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

[5] Brehm, W.C. (2015). “Cambodia – the embattled teacher” in J. Evers and R. Kneyber (eds). Flip the system: Changing education from the ground up, p. (45-47). Routledge.

[4] Brehm, W.C. (2014). “Strategic ‘Linguistic Communities’: The Political Struggle for Nationalism in School” (pp.318-326). In Jim Williams (Ed.) (Re)Constructing Memory: School and the Imagination of the Nation, Vol. 1. Rotterdam: Sense Publishing.

[3] Brehm, W.C. and Silova, I. (2014) “Ethical Dilemmas in the Education Marketplace: Shadow Education, Political Philosophy, and Social (In)justice in Cambodia” (pp. 161-180). In I. Macpherson, S.L. Robertson, and G. Walford (Eds.) Education, Privatisation, and Social Justice: Case studies from Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. London: Symposium Books.

[2] Brehm, W.C. and Webster, O.C.  (2014). “Global Citizenship, European Citizenship, or Local Citizenship? The Discursive Politics of Citizenship Education in Central and Eastern Europe” (pp. 225-248). In I. Silova & D. Hobson (Eds.) Globalizing Minds: Rhetoric & Realities in International Schools. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

[1] Silova, I. and Brehm, W.C. (2013). “The Shifting Boundaries of Teacher Professionalism: Education Privatization(s) in the Post-Socialist Education Space” (pp. 55-74). In Seddon, T. and Levin, J. World Year Book of Education, London: Routledge.

Book Reviews

[2] Brehm, W. C. (2015). Review of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity by Micah Uetricht. New York: Verso, 2014. Comparative Education Review, 59(1), pp. 177-179.

[1] Brehm, W.C. (2011). Review of International Handbook of Comparative Education, volume 22 edited by Robert Cowen and Andreas M. Kazamias. New York: Springer, 2009. European Education: Issues and Studies, 42(3), pp. 85-89.

Research Reports

[10] Williams, J., Brehm, W., Kitamura, Y., Sam, C., and Shibata, R. (2017). Indicators of internationalization of higher education in Asia-Pacific: Toward a mapping of indicators and their utilization. UNESCO Bangkok working paper. Bangkok: UNESCO.

[9] Brehm, W.C., and Bray, M. (2016) “Education governance in East Asia.” In Changing dynamics in the governance of education: A comparative analysis of emerging issues and reforms in emerging countries. Paris: UNESCO.

[8] Pisseth, H., Walker, S., Tuot, M., Brehm, W.C., and Gorter, B. (2013, July). The Challenges of Clean Water and Community Development: A Comparison of Arsenic Removal Systems in Cambodia and India. Siem Reap: This Life Cambodia. Evaluation report prepared for the Tagore-SenGupta Foundation.

[7] Brehm, W.C. (2013, May). The Teleological Stagnation of New Economic Thinking: Beyond Human Capital and Choice in Education? Discussion paper for the Education Support Program, Open Society Foundations.

[6] Brehm, W.C., Silova, I. and Tuot, M. (2012). The Public-Private Education System in Cambodia: The impact and Implications of Complementary Tutoring. London: Open Society Institute.

[5] Tuot, M. and Brehm, W.C. (2012). Private tutoring and public school study: A study in six schools in Cambodia. Siem Reap: This Life Cambodia. [Report in Khmer]

[4] Brehm, W.C. (2012, March). Rethinking Sustainability: The Unintended Outcomes of School Based Management Reforms in Cambodia [Evaluation report]. Siem Reap: This Life Cambodia.

[3] Brehm, W.C. (2011, July). Report on the Lower Secondary School Development Program [Evaluation Report]. Siem Reap: This Life Cambodia.

[2] Silova, I, Brehm, W.C., and Lowery, C. (2010, January). Partners in Education: Building a Relationship Between Caring for Cambodia and Lehigh University. Presented to Caring for Cambodia and Lehigh University. 

[1] Brehm, W.C. and Holland, K. (2008, December 8). LU/UN Partnership: How to create a mutually beneficial relationship through student NGO representation activities. Presented to the Office of International Affairs, Lehigh University.

Other Publications

[12] Brehm, W. (in press, 2019). Researching national and regional identity in Southeast Asian schools. WIAS Newsletter, 17).

[11] Brehm, W. (in press, 2019). “The pursuit of profit: In whose interest?” CIES Perspectives, Winter.

[10] Brehm, W. (2018). “Six Lessons from UNESCO’s 2018 Global Education Meeting” Norrag Blog. Online: https://www.norrag.org/six-lessons-from-unescos-2018-global-education-meeting-by-will-brehm/

[9] Brehm, W. (2018). “A requiem for Cambodian elections” The Diplomat. Online: https://thediplomat.com/2018/08/a-requiem-for-cambodian-elections/

[8] Brehm, W. (2017). “Cambodia’s social media warnings for Trump’s America” East Asia Forum. Online: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2017/01/19/cambodias-social-media-warnings-for-trumps-america/

[7] Brehm, W.C. and Edwards, D.B., Jr. (2014). “The many space of learning: Private tutoring and post-2015 Education For All.” Norrag News, 50, 56-58.

[6] Brehm, W.C. (2014). An Educational Development Agenda for a Round Earth: Learning from Political Philosophy. Compare Forum Online. http://baice.ac.uk/2014/an-educational-development-agenda-for-a-round-earth-learning-from-political-philosophy/

[5] Brehm, W.C. and Silova, I. (2010, September). Speaking of Brickman. CIES Perspectives, 154. http://cies.us/newsletter/Sept_10/Brickman.html

[4] Silova, I, and Brehm, W.C. (2010). A European Spring: Flat, Bumpy, or Uncertain? European Education: Issues and Studies, 42(3), pp. 3-6.

[3] Brehm, W.C. and Hardacker, E. (2010). William W. Brickman. CIEclopedia. http://cieclopedia.org/Entry.aspx?id=137

[2] Brehm, W.C. and Silova, I. (2010). A Just Mind, A Just Community: Percy Hughes’ Contributions to Lehigh University, 1907-1942. To be published on the Council for Equity and Community’s website at Lehigh University. http://www.lehigh.edu/diversity/about_pubs_reports.html

[1] Silova, I., Brehm, W.C., and Chase-Mayoral, A. (2010, January). Northeast Regional Conference Report: “Beyond Aid: Rethinking Approaches to International Development in Education”. CIES Perspectives, 152. http://cies.us/newsletter/jan10/NE_Regional.html

Other Interests

I host a podcast called FreshEd. The podcast has been widely received, reaching an audience around the world. It has also been incorporated into many university syllabi. www.freshedpodcast.com

Affiliated Academic Organizations

Comparative and International Education Society (member since 2008)
Comparative Education Society of Asia (member since 2015)
Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (2011-2014)
History of Education Society (2010-2011)


[12] 2019 Emerging Scholar Award, the Citizenship and Democratic Education Special Interest Group of the Comparative and International Education Society (April 2019)

[11]Waseda University Research Award (High-Impact Publication) (December 2018)

[10] Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Japan Society for the Promotion of the Sciences (September 2015 – March 2017)

[9] New Scholars Dissertation Workshop Award, Comparative and International Education Society (March 2014)

[8] Research Postgraduate Studentship, The University of Hong Kong (September 2012 – August 2016).

[7] Graduate Life Leadership Award, Lehigh University (April 2010)

[6] College of Education Graduate Student Leadership and Service Award, Lehigh University (April 2010);

[5] Elizabeth Major Nevius Award for Outstanding Leadership, Scholarship, and Citizenship, Lehigh University (December 2008);

[4] Williams Prize for Lehigh Review essay; Lehigh University (May 2008);

[3] Kaleidoscope Award, Lehigh University, Office of Multicultural Affairs (May 2008);

[2] Honorable Mention, Thalheimer Student Entrepreneurs Competition, Lehigh University (2007);

[1] Recipient of the Beta Theta Pi Community Service Award (2005);

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