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Europe of Knowledge in Context (ECPR 2015)

Beverly Barrett

Last week we convened in Montreal, Canada for the 9th general conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), which took place from 26-29 August at University of Montreal. This was the first general conference of the ECPR to take place outside of Europe, and the francophone region of Quebec welcomed participants from around the world. The conference program included 59 sections, 372 panels and 1430 papers.

Mitchell Young and Meng-Hsuan Chou (Photo Credit: Mari Elken)

Mitchell Young and Meng-Hsuan Chou (Photo Credit: Mari Elken)

The Global Governance of Knowledge Policies: Europe of Knowledge in Context was the title of the Section 54. This section was organized by the UACES’s European Research Area – Collaborative Research Network (ERA-CRN) and co-chaired by Meng-Hsuan Chou (Nanyang Technological University in Singapore) and Mitchell Young (Charles University in Prague) who facilitated the nine panels among research and higher education policy scholars.

An overview of some of the panel topics includes Regionalism and multi-level governance of higher education and research. This panel made comparisons between the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) of the Bologna Process and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) higher education policies on degree compatibility, quality assurance, and recognition of degrees. Global collaboration and competition in science, technology and innovation addressed international initiatives for research policy across countries in Europe and beyond.

CRN meeting (Photo Credit: Mari Elken)

CRN meeting (Photo Credit: Mari Elken)

The panel Researching the governance of knowledge policies: methodological and conceptual challenges made further comparisons among countries engaging in research innovation and explored ways to avoid methodological nationalism. The panel Trade agreements and the supranational shaping of knowledge policies discussed the progress of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations while explaining the relationship to the services sector of higher education. Themes on higher education governance, international cooperation in education, and research policies were dominant throughout the session over three days. All panels were well-attended and led to lively, high-quality discussions.

Participants at the Transnational Actor panel (Photo Credit: Mari Elken)

Participants at the Ideas panel (Photo Credit: Mari Elken)

Next year the 10th general conference of the ECPR will take place in Prague, Czech Republic at Charles University from September 7 to 10, 2016. We welcome scholars at various stages in their careers to participate in the ECPR and the ERA-CRN workshops and activities in the future. At the moment the network is preparing an application for the ECPR Standing Group ‘Politics of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation’; if you would like to join, please sign up here.

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