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CFP: Complexity and the politics of knowledge policies: multi-issue, multi-level and multi-actor (2016 RCPP)
Conference: 2016 HKU-USC-IPPA Conference on Public Policy
When: 10-11 June 2016
Where: Hong Kong
Deadline for paper proposal: 30 January 2016
How & where to submit: select T03P05 and upload your proposal at http://www.socsc.hku.hk/webforms/cpphk-paper-proposal-submission-theme3/
If you have any questions, please contact:
Meng-Hsuan Chou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jens Jungblut (email@example.com)
Pauline Ravinet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Martina Vukasovic (email@example.com)
Complexity and the politics of knowledge policies: multi-issue, multi-level and multi-actor
The complexity of policy processes and the relationship between instrument choice and impact have always intrigued scholars of politics, public policy, and public administration. Indeed, complexity constitutes a key element in established public policy theoretical frameworks such as punctuated equilibrium, multiple streams, and is at the core of Lindblom’s science of ‘muddling through’. In recent years, policy scholars such as Cairney and Geyer have pushed for embracing complexity as a foundation and starting point for policy analysis. These scholars advocate a ‘complexity theory’ approach that enables researchers to attend to both top-down as well as bottom-up dynamics, interests and behaviour of various actors, and how policy ideas, goals and instruments are interpreted and transformed during the policy process.
This panel engages with the complexity approach in public policy through the case of knowledge policy, which refers to basic and applied research, innovation, and higher education. The issues at the core of these policy areas are cross-cutting, which means that their governance does not neatly fall into one single policy domain (multi-issue). Indeed, they often require collaboration across multiple policy sectors as the different aspects of knowledge policies are under jurisdiction of different ministries (multi-actor). Due to increasing processes of international and subnational coordination, developments in the knowledge policy domain are a multi-level endeavour. The case of knowledge policy thus offers a promising empirical avenue to explore the key concepts at the heart of ‘complexity theory’, as well as a bridge for interdisciplinary theoretical exchanges.
We seek submissions that address cross-cutting issues in the knowledge policy domains and the multi-actor and multi-level policy processes involved. Submissions are invited from all theoretical schools using quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methods approaches, but should demonstrate a good conceptual understanding of the complexity of knowledge policies with a clear empirical, preferably comparative, focus.
Panel: Policy failures in the knowledge domain
- Chair/discussant: Meng-Hsuan Chou (NTU, Singapore) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher education, research, and innovation policy domains have undergone dramatic changes in recent decades. Embedded in these changes are assumptions about failure and learning, and the belief that the ‘new and novel’ would ‘right’ the ‘wrongs’. Yet our understanding of the failure-learning mechanism remains under-developed. Indeed, social scientists often conflate three distinct types of failure—politics, policy, and instruments—in their analyses.
The consequences of failure also remain an on-going question. Do all failures lead to sizeable policy change or to less dramatic reforms or tinkering? Or to no actions at all? While spectacular policy failures are historically memorable, the subtle failures that trigger incremental changes, or indeed the acknowledgement of their very existence, are less examined. For instance, what are the modes of institutional change? To what extent do these changes lead to reform?
The above observations raise several questions about failures and learning in knowledge policymaking which scholars of public policy, comparative politics, international relations, and social sciences in general have only begun to address. These include, but are not limited to: why do some policy failures lead to institutional collapse or abandonment of policy ideas, while others do not? Indeed, why are some policy ideas more sticky than others? To what extent do policy failures shape the institutional design of international, regional, and national, and sub-national decision-making? Is there a cycle of failure and learning involved in the everyday functioning of political and knowledge institutions (e.g. universities and research institutes)? And, if so, how do we first detect and then determine which ‘failure-learning’ mechanism is weak and which one is robust?
This panel invites papers that seek to identify and unpack the failure-learning mechanism operational in specific knowledge policy changes. It welcomes a diversity of approaches – qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods – from all scholars and practitioners interested in the above questions.
This panel is proposed for the 2016 ECPR Section (7-10 September 2016, Prague). Please contact the panel chair before 24 January 2016 with your abstract (300 words) if you are interested in submitting a paper for this panel.
Panel: Politics of Access in Higher Education Systems
- Co-chairs: Beverley Barrett, University of Houston (email@example.com) and Karel Sima, Centre for Higher Education Studies, Czech Republic (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Expectations for greater access to higher education systems have followed trends reflecting an increasing number of democratic countries in recent decades. Given the acceleration of globalization, with pressure for greater access to higher education, the politics of access for domestic and international students remains contentious for entry into competitive academic programs worldwide. Considering the power of ideas, interests, and institutions, how do specific national goals and policy strategies to increase educational access compare across countries and across regions? In which countries and regions are trends for increasing educational access most innovative and most effective?
We invite contributions that compare and examine the extent to which these higher education access initiatives, across continents, support learning objectives and graduation outcomes that are innovative and effective supporting employability. In recent years, we have observed a proliferation of national and regional strategies for increasing access to higher education around the world: in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe. The European drive to consolidate the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), since the early 2000s, has higher education attainment as an explicit objective.
This panel focuses on questions that address how national policy strategies on access confront current issues and developing trends. What are the higher education policies to accommodate domestic and international students towards the goal of increasing access? What are innovative and effective policy instruments, and what have been their impacts across countries and continents? How do unique actors (governments, institutions, academics, students etc.) actively engage in decision-making processes in complex multi-actor environments reflecting distinct preferences and goals?
The wave of higher education expansion in Western world in the 20th century was fuelled by the population growth of post-war baby boomers. This resulted in mass higher education systems in most of the European and American countries. Consequently the student populations have substantially changed reflecting sociocultural diversity. Furthermore, internationalisation has become an objective for higher education in the 21st century in the EHEA and across continents. These trends have changed not only the form and content of higher education, but also education’s role in the knowledge-based economy and society.
The international mobility of students in higher education continues to accelerate. Countries seek to retain talented students, supporting objectives towards national competitiveness, while being open to global talent, overlapping with objectives for internationalisation. As countries become more developed, access issues continue to become more pressing within a knowledge-driven economy. Developing economies that can accommodate increased access to education, at every level, are investing invaluable knowledge creation that leads to productivity.
This panel addresses trends for increasing educational access, identifying innovative and effective national policy strategies that address challenges of the internationalised mass higher education of the 21st century. We invite contributions that would analyse these trends on various levels of governance, and from perspectives of multiple actors, as well as those that employ a comparative approach on international, institutional, and disciplinary levels.
This panel is proposed for the 2016 ECPR Section (7-10 September 2016, Prague). Please contact the panel co-chairs before 24 January 2016 if you are interested in submitting a paper for this panel.
Albert Sanchez Graells
One of the elements implicit in the on-going discussion about higher education reform in England concerns the extent to which changes in the funding and governance structure of HEFCE (to be transformed into the Office for Students, or any other format that results from the consultation run by BIS) can free English universities from their duty to comply with EU public procurement law.
The issue is recurring in the subsequent waves of higher education reform in England, and the same debate arouse last summer following BIS statements that the most recent reform (lifting the cap on student numbers) would relieve English universities of their duty to comply with EU public procurement law (see discussion here).
Overall, then, there is a clear need to clarify to what extent English universities are actually and currently obliged to comply with EU public procurement rules, both as buyers and as providers of services. That analysis can then inform the extent to which in the future English universities are likely to remain under a duty to comply with EU public procurement rules.
This is what my colleague Dr Andrea Gideon and myself have done in our paper “When are universities bound by EU public procurement rules as buyers and providers? – English universities as a case study“. As the abstract indicates
In this study we provide an up-to-date assessment of situations in which universities are bound by public procurement rules, as well as the combined changes that market-based university financing mechanisms can bring about in relation to the regulation of university procurement and to the treatment of the financial support they receive under the EU State aid rules. National differences in funding schemes are likely to trigger different answers in different EU jurisdictions. This study uses the situation of English universities as a case study.
The first part focuses on the role of universities as buyers. The traditional position has been to consider universities bound by EU public procurement rules either as state authorities, or because they receive more than 50% public funding. In the latter case, recent changes in the funding structure can create opportunities for universities to free themselves from compliance with EU public procurement rules.
In the second part, we assess the position of universities as providers. Here the traditional position has been that the State can directly mandate universities to conduct teaching and research activities. However, new EU legislation contains specific provisions about how and when teaching and research need to be procured if they are of an economic nature. Thus, accepting the exclusion of university services from procurement requirements as a rule of thumb is increasingly open to legal challenge.
Finally, the study assesses if and in how far universities can benefit from exemptions for public-public cooperation or in-house arrangements either as sellers or buyers.
The full paper is available on SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2692966.
We have submitted our piece of research to BIS as part of the consultation on the green paper. We hope that our research and the insights it sheds can inform the discussion on the new mechanisms for the allocation of the teaching grant to English universities (and particularly the discussion around Q18 of the consultation).
Dr Albert Sanchez Graells is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol Law School, and a Member of the European Commission Stakeholder Expert Group on Public Procurement (2015-18). He is a specialist in European economic law, with a main focus on competition law and public procurement. Albert is a regular speaker at international conferences and has been recently invited by the European Court of Auditors and European Commission as a specialist academic in public procurement and competition matters. He has also advised the World Bank and other international institutions regarding public procurement reform.
This post first appeared on: How To Crack a Nut
CFP: UACES CRN workshop on ‘The politics of knowledge: Europe and beyond’ (16-17 July 2015, Robinson College, Cambridge)
Dr Meng-Hsuan Chou (NTU Singapore) – hsuan.chou [at] cantab.net
Dr Julie Smith (Robinson College, University of Cambridge) – jes42 [at] cam.ac.uk
Mitchell Young (Charles University in Prague) – young.mitchell [at] gmail.com
Knowledge policies are at the forefront of contemporary global politics. There is an accepted belief among policymakers that knowledge is the foundation on which societies coalesce and economies thrive. Indeed, the competition for knowledge can be said to be driving the global race for talent. For the second workshop of the UACES collaborative research network on the European Research Area, we invite contributions covering and going beyond Europe to examine the politics of knowledge policies around the world. This workshop is geared towards answering the following questions: What key themes should we address when we talk about the politics of knowledge policies? How and why are these themes crucial for our understanding of politics and policymaking in sectors such as higher education, research, and innovation?
We invite theoretical, empirical and comparative contributions that investigate the role of the ‘four I-s’ – ideas, interests, instruments and institutions – in the politics of knowledge policies. By role, we refer to the effects that ideas, actors (individual, organisational), policy instruments and institutions have had on the national, regional and global governance of knowledge policies, and vice versa. This focus on ‘roles’ is to enable a multidisciplinary discussion on whether these factors share defining characteristics across the different knowledge policy domains (research, higher education, innovation), between distinct governance levels, and within and across geographical regions.
Potential papers could explore a variety of themes. For instance, they may address how and why particular ideas (‘excellence’, ‘talent’, ‘21st century skills’, ‘knowledge-based’) find policy resonance around the world, while others fail to do so. Are some of the newly emerging ideas a repackaging of earlier ones and, if so, what accounts for their rise on the policy agenda? Papers may examine the configuration and re-configuration of actors from the public and private sectors in designing, shaping, implementing, promoting or blocking knowledge policy from above, below and through other governance channels. Contributions may investigate and compare the sets of policy instruments adopted to facilitate knowledge policy cooperation throughout the world’s different geographical regions. Here, for example, it would be interesting to identify whether there are standard sets of measures that bilateral or multilateral cooperation embrace for promoting collaboration in the knowledge policy sector. Papers may also assess the institutional set-ups introduced to facilitate knowledge policy cooperation, the mandates given and decisional powers delegated to these institutions, and the effects, if any, that these institutions have had over time.
This CRN continues to welcome scholars at all career stages, theoretical and methodological approaches to examining knowledge policy cooperation in Europe and around the world.
Workshop call for paper
We will provide accommodation, refreshments and meals for accepted presenters for the duration of the workshop. Applicants may propose more than one paper for consideration, but no one will be permitted to present or co-present more than one paper. We encourage student members of UACES to consider applying for travel funding (http://uaces.org/funding/travel/).
Please contact any of the workshop organisers if you have any questions and please submit your proposal before the 13th of April 2015, 18.00 GMT at: http://goo.gl/forms/tq8ywKKdIu
13 April 2015 (18.00 GMT): extended abstract due
24 April 2015: acceptance notification
18 June 2015: workshop programme available
02 July 2015: full papers due
16-17 July 2015: workshop
Organising scholarly networks
18 December 2014, Gaskell Building Rm 210, Brunel University London
10.30-11.30: Keynote 1: Louise Ackers (Salford)
11.30-13.00: Panel 1: Scientific Diplomacy
- Tom Rusbridge (Sheffield): ‘England in Europe: Scholarly mobility in the sixteenth century’
- Meng-Hsuan Chou & Tamson Pietsch (Nanyang Singapore & Brunel/Sydney): ‘Organising scholarly networks: a literature review’
- Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen (Aalborg): ‘Arctic Science Diplomacy: accommodating a rising Asia’
- Commentator: Julie Smith (Cambridge)
14.00-15.30: Panel 2: Impacts and effects
- Branwyn Poleykett (Cambridge): ‘Being mobile, making meaning: studying exchanges of scientific ‘capacity’ between Denmark and East Africa’
- Lisa Scordato, Trude Røsdal, Agnete Vabø, Siri Aanstad & Rachel Sweetman (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education): ‘The impact of academic mobility programmes’ on strategic knowledge exchange’
- Inga Ulnicane (Vienna): ‘What role does mobility play in international research collaboration?’
- Commentator: Julie Smith (Cambridge)
16.00-17.00: Keynote 2: Heike Jöns (Loughborough)
18.30: Dinner for speakers
For further information, and if you wish to attend, please contact the organisers:
Dr Tamson Pietsch (Brunel/Sydney) tamson.pietsch [at] sydney.edu.au
Dr Meng-Hsuan Chou (Nangyang Technological University) hsuan.chou [at] cantab.net
We acknowledge the generous support of the following institutions:
Society for Research into Higher Education
Nanyang Technological University Singapore
The University of Sydney
Brunel University London
Corina Balaban and Susan Wright
How has doctoral education been changing in Europe and the U.S? Why, and what are the implications for researchers, institutions and wider society? Two experts opened this debate at the start of a project to train early stage researchers Universities in the Knowledge Economy (UNIKE). Prof. Pavel Zgaga from the Centre for Education Policy Studies, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Prof. Maresi Nerad, from University of Washington, Seattle, The United States (US) gave comprehensive accounts of how doctoral education had developed in the last decades in the EU and the US respectively. This offered the possibility to compare and contrast the current flagship models used in these two geo-political regions and consider possible challenges for the future.
Bologna Process and Europeanisation of the doctorate
What new forms of doctoral education have emerged in Europe, and how did they come about? Doctoral education was initially left outside the Bologna Process in Europe. The Bologna Process emerged at the end of the 20th century because undergraduate and masters’ level education in Europe was so diverse that universities had problems with mobility and the mutual recognition of degrees.
In parallel to the Bologna Process, which was initially an initiative of national ministers, the European Commission aimed to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and a European Research Area (ERA). These two strategies came together in the idea of a ‘Europe of Knowledge’ which related both research and teaching to industry and the economy. This brought doctoral education onto the agenda.
The first political statement that was made on doctoral education was the Communique from the Berlin meeting of the Bologna Process (2003):
‘Conscious of the need to promote closer links between the EHEA and the ERA in a Europe of Knowledge, and of the importance of research as an integral part of higher education across Europe, Ministers consider it necessary to go beyond the present focus of two main cycles of higher education to include the doctoral level as the third cycle in the Bologna Process’ (Bologna Process, 2003: 7).
The European Commission then funded the forum for university leaders, the European Universities Association (EUA) to run a project called ‘Doctoral Programme for the European Knowledge Society’ (2004-2005), which resulted in the ‘Ten Basic Principles’ of doctoral education, discussed at a Bologna Process seminar in Salzburg (February 2005).
The document gave rise to long disputes about the definition(s) of the ‘European doctorate.’ One of the main challenges was finding a common ‘structure’ for the doctorate. Other goals of the doctorate were then established, for instance that it should be centered on interdisciplinarity and should prepare people not just for academic jobs but should give them the ‘transferable skills’ to work in industry and across the ‘knowledge economy.’ The communique also outlines the aim to increase the number of doctoral holders. As Professor Zgaga put it, ‘that forty ministers could reach agreement in this document was a huge step.’
In this context, the important question is: what does Europeanisation mean for doctoral education? A series of issues is still open for discussion. Arguably, the increase in the number of doctoral degrees signaled a transition from elite to mass doctoral education. Does this devalue the degree? Yet attempts were also made to improve the status of doctoral candidates by treating them as ‘early stage researchers’ (ESRs) (Bologna Process 2005: 4). EURODOC, the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers, has been playing a key role in this respect. Can higher education institutions afford to employ rising numbers of ESRs and give them the working conditions of research staff rather than students? ESRs in the ‘Europe of Knowledge’ are not just expected to write a thesis on ‘cutting edge’ research but to acquire an array of ‘transferable skills’ and workplace experience at the same time. Does this ‘overload’ the degree and the ESR him or herself?
The interdisciplinary doctorate – a U.S. flagship
One of the main distinctive features of the U.S. doctoral education system is that it is decentralised, meaning that it is not regulated by a national or federal ministry of education, like it is in European countries. This is the reason why, historically, one cannot talk about ‘reform’ in U.S. doctoral education, since initiatives have never been taken at ministry level, but there have been important ‘changes’ brought about by funding agencies, within institutions and at the departmental level.
Doctoral education in the U.S. has steadily expanded since the Second World War and in the present context of globalisation and the knowledge economy, doctoral education has become increasingly market-driven. This market-driven, demand and supply orientation encourages competition between various doctoral programmes and also creates the need for comparison between them. To this end, doctoral programmes use similar systems of quality assurance, which lead to a greater standardisation of doctoral education and link them into broader processes of accountability.
If innovation is the means to achieve economic prosperity, doctoral education is seen as a way to train innovators for various sectors. Doctoral education is subjected to both external and internal forces to higher education that connect it to the demands of the labour market and, as in Europe, the doctoral degree has become a commodity that has value beyond academic knowledge production.
The National Science Foundation has initiated one particularly successful model of doctoral education called IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship). Highly competitive funding is awarded to selective institutions to develop research doctoral programmes with the following features: engaging novel research themes; developing inter/multi or transdisciplinary approaches; based in research teams; building professional and personal skills into the curriculum; preparing students for academic and non-academic careers, via connections to the outside world; and encouraging international components.
To use Gibbons et al.’s (1994) terminology, both the European and U.S. debates focus on a shift from ‘Mode 1’ knowledge production (traditionally known as the ‘apprenticeship’ model) towards ‘Mode 2’, which places a much greater emphasis on interdisciplinary, transferable skills and collaborations with industry as ways of preparing doctoral students for the labour market. In this context, the question is what is happening to the academic focus on equipping researchers theoretically and methodologically to think critically and independently and explore a problem they are ‘burning’ with enthusiasm to solve?
The concept of ‘mass doctoral education’ was raised in both discussions – PhD production is increasing in many countries, but are the career opportunities following? Other issues for further consideration include questions such as: Who decides what doctoral education should be about? What are the wider consequences of favouring particular ideas about doctoral education over others? What sort of person should doctoral education aim to create? Is doctoral education becoming too market-oriented, or pushed too far to produce employment-ready researchers? Is the market-driven approach to doctoral education more natural and appropriate in the context of some disciplines and less so in the context of others (sciences versus humanities)? These questions will be addressed in subsequent events of the UNIKE project.
This blog entry results from the first in a series of UNIKE workshops that was held at the Department of Education, Aarhus University in 14-18 October 2013. UNIKE – ‘Universities in the Knowledge Economy’ is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network examining the changing role of universities in the global knowledge economy in Europe and Asia-Pacific Rim. Corina Balaban is a Marie Curie Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. Susan Wright is a Professor of Educational Anthropology at the Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark.
This entry has been initially posted on Ideas on Europe blog platform.
Bologna Process (2003) Realising the European Higher Education Area. Communiqué of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Higher Education in Berlin on 19 September.
Bologna Process (2005a) Doctoral Programmes for the European Knowledge Society. Conclusions and Recommendations of the Bologna Seminar held at Salzburg, 3-5 February.
Bologna Process (2005b) The European Higher Education Area – Achieving the Goals. Communiqué of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Bergen, 19-20 May.
Council of Graduate Schools (2013) Graduate Enrollment and Degrees 2002-2012. Washington, D.C.: Council of Graduate School (CGS) September 2013. Quoted by Chronicle of Higher Education.
European Commission (2005) The European Charter for Researchers: The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. Brussels, Belgium: Directorate-General for Research, Human Resources and Mobility (Marie Curie Actions).
European Commission (2010) Communication from The Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and The Committee of the Regions. Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union. Brussels, 6.10.2010 COM(2010) 546 Final. SEC(2010) 1161.
Gibbons, Michael, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman, Peter Scott, and Martin Trow (1994) The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. London, GBR: SAGE Publications.
National Science Foundation (2005) Synopsis of IGERT Program.
National Science Foundation (2013) Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities, 2012; Survey of Earned Doctorate, December 2013. Table 1 and Table 12.