affect action up and down the line


Senior Member
Hello,everyone.The following is from the book The higher education system: Academic organization in cross‐national perspective, by Burton R. Clark.On p.10 it goes:

But they also lead toward systematic answers to "issue" questions that are normally treated in an ad hoc manner: What determines access? How can general education be supported? ... Is "graduate unemployment” inevitable? All such matters are heavily conditioned by the structural bases pursued here. Each system has macro constraints and compulsions that affect action up and down the line: the European chair and the American department shape teaching roles into different holds, the US. structure of undergraduate and graduate levels makes undergraduate student life something different from what it is elsewhere; ...

I wonder what the author means "that affect action up and down the line", what "the line" refers to? Could you explain the meaning for me?
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    It roughly means the hierarchy of people or positions in the system - think of it as a line from the bottom to the top.
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