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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
Panel title: Transnational actors in the multi-level governance of knowledge policies
- Chair: Tatiana Fumasoli (email@example.com)
- Co-discussants: Tatiana Fumasoli (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Åse Gornitzka
Abstract: How does academia engage at the national, European and global levels to respond to the on-going pressures for excellence and relevance? This panel examines two sets of actors at the core of knowledge production and dissemination: academics and universities. Academics are professionals with multiple affiliations and loyalties, as they are embedded in higher education institutions and discipline-based communities; they strive to protect their academic freedom and control of their teaching and research activities (Freidson 2003). Universities have become increasingly relevant actors in the higher education and research fields, since reforms granting institutional autonomy have allowed them to position themselves strategically and affect the systemic level (Fumasoli and Huisman 2013).
We conceive of the ERA and the EHEA as a multi-layered system that provides opportunities for academics and universities to engage in different arenas across levels, in order to defend and lobby for their interests. The panel’s overall objective is to shed light on how such actors influence formulation and implementation of policies in higher education and research, how they contribute in the construction of the ERA and EHEA, more in general of the Europe of Knowledge.
We thus ask three distinct sets of questions:
- How do academics and universities take part in policy processes at European, national, regional and institutional level? What are the factors empowering and constraining them?
- What are the implications for ERA and EHEA of such engagement(s) at multiple levels? How is their governance impacted? How are specific policies and instruments affected?
- What are the consequences for national higher education and research? To what extent academics’ and universities’ strategic agency influences systemic integration at national and European levels?
To make sense of these dynamics we invite both conceptual and empirical papers that use, among others, multi-level governance (Marks 1996, Hooghe and Marks 2001, Piattoni 2010), networking governance (Gornitzka 2009), field theory (Fligstein and McAdam 2012), and advocacy coalition (Sabatier 1998). Some relevant topics to elaborate upon are transnational interest groups, professional and disciplinary associations, strategic alliances (Fligstein 2008).
To propose a paper for this panel please contact Tatiana Fumasoli (email@example.com).
The International Conference on Public Policy (1-4 July 2015, Milan)
Session title: “Governance of Knowledge Policies”
- Meng-Hsuan Chou, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jens Jungblut, University of Oslo, Norway (email@example.com)
- Pauline Ravinet, Université Lille 2, France (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mitchell Young, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic (email@example.com)
- Tim Flink, Berlin Social Science Research Center, Germany (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Tatiana Fumasoli, ARENA Center for European Studies, Norway (Tatiana.email@example.com)
The governance of knowledge policies has now permeated all policy levels, from the local, national, regional to the global. These processes, however, are examined in disciplinary ‘silos’ – from science and higher education (policy) studies, international relations, comparative politics, and sociology to organisational studies. At the same time, they share at least three research foci, each one echoing stimulating debates within public policy research. Firstly, this panel demonstrates the added-value that studies of knowledge policies have for improving public policy understanding of (i) discourse and ideas. Specifically, questions concerning whether, how and why certain concepts such as excellence, globalism, regionalism, innovation, and so on, catalyse policy actors’ strategies, percolate into daily practices and how they are then weaved into the fabric of policies, organisations or systems. Knowledge policies constitute fascinating cases for scholars willing to “take ideas and discourse seriously” (Schmidt, 2010), studying policymaking after the “argumentative turn” (Fischer & Gottweis, 2012), or, from a different angle, wanting to explore the rational-choice argument that ideas are merely “hooks” for interests (Weingast, 1995).
Secondly, another research dimension on knowledge policies is to question how the dynamics of higher education, research and science have impacted (ii) the central organisations, i.e. universities and non-university research institutes, as well as the funding and regulatory agencies. This time, knowledge policies provide almost infinite cases to tackle the issue of interaction between policies and organisations – and therefore the connection between public policy research and organisational theory (Gornitzka, 1999). Seminal works in organisational sociology and implementation theory have all been fascinated by developments in higher education. For instance, Cohen, March & Olsen (1972) introduced ‘organised anarchy’ and the ‘garbage can model of decision-making’ to conceptualise processes of organisation within universities, while Cerych & Sabatier (1986) studied implementation of higher education in Europe. Their interest, especially on the role of ambiguity in policymaking, points to the potential that researching dynamics of knowledge policymaking has for addressing questions at the policy-organisation nexus.
Finally, there is also clear shared research interest in how such policy dynamics affect (iii) groups and individuals as “difficult” members (Mintzberg 1983) of such professional organisations, e.g. asking whether and how a potential “normalization” of universities (Brunsson & Sahlin-Andersson 2000; Musselin 2007) and their global differentiation/isomorphism clash with the normative foundations of science as a profession/vocation (Merton 1973; Weber 1946) or, even earlier, with the hitherto humanistic ideals of ‘socialising’ students by education.
This session invites researchers from across diverse disciplines to examine the multi-level governance of knowledge policies and politics, focusing on any of the above-mentioned dynamics as well as the role of actors in influencing them. We propose three sections – each addressing one of the three research foci identified above. All accepted papers must have a clear conceptual approach, preferably supported by empirical examples beyond a single case study.
To propose a paper for this session, please upload your abstract by 15th January 2015 HERE.
The abstract should include the research aim, the conceptual approach, the case(s) studied as well as potential methods and data. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Meng-Hsuan Chou, Jens Jungblut, or Pauline Ravinet.
CFP: Regionalism from above, regionalism from below: multi-level governance of higher education and research (ECPR 2015)
Panel title: Regionalism from above, regionalism from below: multi-level governance of higher education and research
- Co-Chairs and Discussant: Pauline Ravinet (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Hannah Moscovitz (Hannah@post.bgu.ac.il)
Abstract: Higher education and research policies appear as fascinating cases to explore the transformations of the role of the State in a globalized economy and society of knowledge. The now classical notion of multilevel-governance actually appears extremely useful to make sense of policy change in these domains.
Higher education and research policies have been transformed, with increasing governing power both to subnational and supranational structures. The elevating role of regions in higher education and research is mirrored by regional dynamics developing worldwide. As a result of regional integration on the one hand and devolution/federalization processes on the other, regions are playing an increasingly prominent role in contemporary global politics. The empirical case of knowledge-policy governance can thus contribute to the wider conceptual debate on territorial politics, regionalism and region-building.
How have States recomposed their role in the governance of knowledge policies in this context? Strands of literature on the world regions in the globalization of knowledge policies on the one hand and on the territorial politics of knowledge on the other, do not dialogue much together. This panel will propose to connect those works around the notion of regionalism, and open a discussion about how the rise of regions, both subnational and supranational, is a major feature of the transformations of knowledge policies. A particular attention will be dedicated to the circulation of actors and policy solutions between the subnational, national, and supranational levels.
Building on both empirical and theoretical perspectives the panel will explore the facets and implications of higher education regionalism in Europe and elsewhere highlighting the following issues: What are the regional territorial politics involved in the governance of knowledge policies? How does regionalism of higher education in Europe inform our understanding of international relations and of European foreign policy in particular? What are the features and implications of the higher education multi-level governance structure in Europe? How can the European case inform our understanding of other regions? How can the study of multi level governance of knowledge in other regions help us understand better the European situation ? How does the case of knowledge policies contribute to the conceptual understanding of regionalism?
To propose a paper for this panel please send an abstract of 500 – 1000 words until January 20th 2015 to Pauline Ravinet (email@example.com) and Hannah Moscovitz (Hannah@post.bgu.ac.il).
Panel title: Ideas in the global governance of knowledge
- Chair/Discussant: Meng-Hsuan Chou (NTU, Singapore) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: As the ECPR and the Europe of Knowledge section enter a new phase, this panel takes a reflective approach and invites contributions from around the world on the role of ideas in knowledge policy governance. Ideas are pervasive in all aspects of public policymaking at the national, regional and international levels. They act as deeply entrenched paradigmatic beliefs concerning how things should and ought to be done, as well as specific policy blueprints for resolving particular policy problems. Articulated through discourse and championed by ‘amplifiers’, ideas may chart the pathways of regional integration and international collaboration in unexpected ways. This panel invites contributions that explore the role that ideas play in regional and international research and higher education policy cooperation. By ‘role’, I refer to the independent or intervening effects that an idea – such as the ‘knowledge-based economy’, ‘world-class’, ‘regional hub’, the ‘Rise of Asia’ or the ‘Asian Century’, free movement of knowledge/fifth freedom, competitiveness, excellence, talent, internationalisation, ‘digital revolution’, ‘Single Market of Knowledge’ and so on – have had on the regional or global governance of knowledge policies. Papers in this panel are invited to address any of these questions: What are the prominent ideas in the international governance of knowledge policies (higher education, science and research) and how have they determined the evolution of the latter’s development? Are there visible national, regional or transnational champions of certain ideas and what strategies do they apply to promote them? Also, to what extent have these ideational champions collaborated with one another or do they work in isolation? How have ideas been translated into national or regional research and higher education policies? Could we identify a consistent discourse or policy frame associated with these ideas? Similarly, could we detect an emergent actor constellation opposing the promoted ideas? And, if so, what are the alternative discourses or policy frames and to what extent have they been successful?
To propose a paper for this panel please send an abstract of 500 – 1000 words until January 20th 2015 to Meng-Hsuan Chou (email@example.com). The abstract should include the research aim, the conceptual approach, the case(s) studied as well as potential methods and data. The panel chair will then assess the proposals until January 30th 2015 and propose the panel en bloc to the section chairs. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Meng-Hsuan Chou.
CFP: ‘The global governance of knowledge policies: Europe of Knowledge in context’ (ECPR, 26-29 August 2015; Universite de Montreal)
Section co-chairs: Meng-Hsuan Chou and Mitchell Young
- Section abstract: Knowledge policies are at the forefront of contemporary global politics. Indeed, knowledge is to be the foundation on which societies coalesce and economies thrive; the competition for knowledge drives the global race for talent. The fourth Europe of Knowledge section invites contributions to go beyond Europe and consider these overarching questions: What key themes should we address when we talk about the global governance of knowledge policies? How and why are these themes crucial for our understanding of public policymaking in knowledge domains? Specifically, we are interested in theoretical, empirical and comparative contributions that investigate the role of the ‘four I’s’ – ideas, interests, instruments and institutions – in the global and multi-level governance of knowledge policies. By ‘role’, we refer to the effects that ideas, actors (individual, organisational), policy instruments and institutions have had on the governance of knowledge policies, and vice-versa. Our focus on ‘roles’ is to enable a multidisciplinary discussion on whether these factors share defining characteristics across different knowledge policy domains (i.e. research, higher education, and science), and between distinct governance levels and geographical regions. This section continues to welcome all scholars, theoretical and methodological approaches to critically discuss the reconfiguration of knowledge systems – in Europe and around the world.
Panel calls and contacts:
Regionalism from above, regionalism from below: Multi-level governance of higher education and research
- Co-chair: Pauline Ravinet (Universite de Lille 2) – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Co-chair/Discussant: Hannah Moscovitz (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) – email@example.com
- Regions are playing an increasingly prominent role in contemporary global politics due to seemingly polarising processes of regional integration and devolution/federalisation. This panel invites contributions to explore the transformation of the State against this context. In so doing, it seeks to bridge two sets of literature – world regions in the globalisation of knowledge politics and territorial politics of knowledge – and to highlight the complexity of multi-level governance of knowledge policies.
Rankings and the global governance of knowledge policies
- Chair/Discussant: Ossi Piironen (University of Helsinki) – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rankings and indicators have become central policy instruments in the global governance of knowledge policies. This panel investigates a specific phenomenon – university rankings – and how it reconstructs power within and across different geographical regions. Often linked to the international market economy, university rankings are now contributing to the diffusion of policy scripts and policy convergence.
Party politics and higher education
- Co-chairs: Jens Jungblut (University of Oslo) – email@example.com, J. Salvador Peralta (University of West Georgia) – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Discussant: Martina Vukasovic (Ghent University) – email@example.com
- Political parties are quintessential actors in politics and policymaking, yet our understanding of them in relation to knowledge policy is still limited. As a field with growing political saliency, knowledge policies are becoming more politicised. Papers in this panel are invited to investigate the role of political parties in higher education policy, the impact of ideology on party preferences, the framing of higher education in relation to other issue areas, and the way parties act across multiple governance levels.
Trade agreements and supranational shaping of knowledge policies
- Co-chairs: Beverly Barrett (University of Miami) – firstname.lastname@example.org, Mitchell Young (Charles University in Prague) – email@example.com
- Discussant: Susan Robertson (University of Bristol)
- The pursuit of free trade agreements on a global, regional and bilateral level is intensifying, and increasingly these agreements are impinging on the areas of higher education and research. This panel examines the effects of casting education and research as ‘services’ from the perspective of institutions, ideas, instruments, and/or interests. Potential papers could clarify the role that free trade agreements have had on the global governance of knowledge policies and how that impacts national policymaking and sub-national actors.
Global collaboration and competition in science, technology and innovation
- Chair/Discussant: Inga Ulnicane-Ozolina (University of Vienna) – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fostering global collaboration and competition in science, technology and innovation is a policy priority. Global collaboration and competition brings together specialised expertise and resources for addressing complex trans-national problems and is believed to directly impact research quality, creativity, efficiency and effectiveness. This panel invites contributions that analyse whether and how diverse forms of global collaboration and competition (e.g. scholarly networks, R&D agreements, large-scale research infrastructures, researcher exchanges, joint laboratories, intergovernmental agreements) promote the aforementioned objectives.
Transnational expertise in the multi-level governance of knowledge policies
- Chair: Tatiana Fumasoli (University of Oslo) – email@example.com
- Co-discussants: Tatiana Fumasoli and Åse Gornitzka (University of Oslo) – firstname.lastname@example.org
- How does the academic profession mobilise at the national, European and global levels to respond to the on-going pressure for excellence and relevance? This panel examines two sets of actors at the core of knowledge production and dissemination: academics who provide expertise to policymaking and universities operating in multiple policy arenas. It expects to find increased stratification and division of labor based on different conditions, resources and reputation across the world.
Ideas in the global governance of knowledge
- Chair/discussant: Meng-Hsuan Chou (NTU, Singapore) – email@example.com
- Ideas are pervasive in all aspects of public and private life and this panel focuses on their role in the global governance of knowledge policies. Potential papers could explore whether ideas and concepts such as ‘competitiveness’, ‘talent’, ‘internationalisation’, and ‘digital revolution’ impact policy cooperation similarly or differently in research, higher education and science sectors. And how are they translated into national policies?
Researching the governance of knowledge policies: methodological and conceptual challenges
- Co-chairs/Co-discussants: Mads Sørensen (Aarhus University) – firstname.lastname@example.org, Mari Elken (NIFU) – email@example.com
- Research and higher education policy studies often take the State as a starting point for analysis. This panel asks: does this lead to ‘methodological nationalism’, or even eurocentrism, in an increasingly interconnected world? We invite papers that examine (empirically, theoretically) the methodologies used in knowledge policy studies, the role of States in those studies, and the advantages and disadvantages of those approaches. In so doing, we aim to identify sector-specific conceptual challenges and alternative (multi-level) approaches.
I spent part of my morning browsing The Researchers’ Report 2014 developed in line with the key priority of ensuring the “free circulation of knowledge” in the European Research Area (ERA), and a relevant part of it focuses on the progresses made at both European and national level in removing or alleviating some of the well-known obstacles to scientific mobility.
In common with a substantial body of scientific literature on the topic, studies such as this new report – while certainly offering relevant information for the policy and scientific community – convey a quite deep-rooted narrative of scientific mobility: a phenomenon that can be grasped within the dichotomy movement-stasis; pivoting on the nation state; associated to a stylized image of the academics (flexible, rational, independent, driven by professional ambition); governable by manoeuvring pull and push factors and, last but not least, which should be invariably regarded as “something good”, both at micro and macro level. Scientific mobility is depicted as a uniform phenomenon, mostly variable – and measurable – along its quantitative dimensions, both at the individual (duration) and at the collective scales (flows and stocks).
On the contrary, the experiences of academic migrants reveal a panorama that is much more nuanced, from the qualitative point of view: academic mobility can be strategized, materialised, institutionalised and performed in a wide variety of ways (Robertson 2010: 642; see also Cantwell 2011). It can be multi-directional or unilateral and it often repeats many times in different forms: joint research projects, special mobility programs, academic exchange or time-limited work under fixed-term contract. (Ivancheva and Gourova 2011, 187; see also Ackers 2005).
Some researchers are mobile some of the time, whilst for others, moving has become a routine part of their life and they are constantly mobile around the world. In this perspective, the nation-state is not seen as either losing or attracting mobile researchers. Neither is the mobile researcher positioned as being either settled or on the move. Such either/or categorizations are seen as inadequate since the understandings of “home and away” have become increasingly complex (Teferra, 2005 230). While early stage researchers are often encouraged to engage in international mobility to increase career prospects, some authors (Ackers 2008; Lawson and Shibayama 2013) have argued that – in the context of the change of academic careers and trajectories – scientific mobility appears increasingly detached from its original objectives and can be better viewed as a compulsory career step, often with uncertain benefits on career progression (Cruz-Castro and Sanz-Menendez, 2010).
A proposal for an alternative framework
In order to make sense of the complex assemblage of political agendas, policy initiatives and personal experiences around scientific mobility, an alternative approach[i] can be developed following Cresswell’s work about the politics of mobility (2010). Cresswell defines mobility as the entanglement of three dimensions: movement, representation, and practice; movement is the fact of physical movement getting from one place to another; representation of movement is what gives it a shared meaning; and, finally, practice refers to the experienced and embodied practice of movement (ibid. p. 19).
The movement dimension – corresponding to the analysis of the fluxes of “movers” and their features (age, gender, nationality, stage of career, disciplines…) – has been widely investigated by the scientific literature on the topic. The practice dimension – corresponding to the analysis of the professional, social and political practices related with being a mobile researcher – although less often than the previous one, has also been a subject for investigation; to some extent, its combination with analyses about movement is at the basis of the policy approach of the push and pull factors. The representation dimension – exploring for example how mobility is discursively and materially constituted, what narratives have been constructed about mobility, how are mobilities represented in public discourse – appears instead largely neglected in the case of scientific mobility.
Cresswell (2010) reminds that just as there has been a multitude of efforts to measure and model mobility so there has been a plethora of representations of mobility: as adventure, as condemn, as education, as freedom, as modern, as threatening – each of them almost “naturally” associated to a different social phenomena involving some kind of moving.
Exploring representation and practices of scientific mobility
While I think that it would be particularly valuable to develop an analysis that reconnects and simultaneously addresses all three levels, I am particularly interested in exploring the intersection between representation and practice. The reason for this arises from the simple fact that, sometimes, mobile practices conform to the representations that surround them, while at other times there is a dissonance between representation and practice.
In an article about mobility practices of Italian early stage researchers (Carrozza and Minucci, forthcoming) we noted how the use of the term “mobility” was frequently associated to a universe of meanings different from those associated with the notion of “emigration”. On the one side, when asked about their opinion on scientific mobility in general, respondents recalled the rhetoric of the European research policies (defining mobility as a right, as the freedom to build a satisfying career by gathering professional and personal experiences in different workplaces and cultures, as a source of value for both the researcher and the European society as a whole); on the other, they often contradicted this framing when asked to talk about their personal experience, struggling to recognize the traits of what they understand to be “mobility” in their own situation.
Of course, these findings need to be contextualized by considering the well-known weaknesses of the Italian research system and labour market, where our respondents are trying (or tried in the past, before moving somewhere else) to build up an academic career. However, this is not the point. The point is – or might be – that both the idea and the lived experience of mobility, although largely dissonant in the case of our respondents, are both real: scientific mobility exists beyond the experience of academic migration.
In this respect, even if this requires a detour from the usual paths of scientific mobility’s research, connecting the two dimensions of representation and practice can further our understanding of the power of the European discourse on scientific mobility – as well as into its inherent contradictions – and offer us a way to explore mobility as one of the grand ideas of the Europe of Knowledge.
Chiara Carrozza is post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She adopts interpretive approaches to policy analysis, and works on the co-evolution between knowledge production and governance production. She is interested in research practices and the meanings and values conveyed by policy discourses about research and technology. She has recently published in the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Higher Education Policy (in press), Critical Policy Studies (in press).
This post follows a presentation given at the panel The ‘big’ ideas in the Europe of Knowledge, at the ECPR General Conference held in Glasgow, 3-6 September 2014. I would like to thank the discussant Meng-Hsuan Chou, for the interesting and valuable comments on the presentation, as well as the other presenters and the audience of the panel.
This entry was initially posted on Europe of Knowledge blog.
Ackers, L. (2005) ‘Promoting scientific mobility and balanced growth in the European Research Area’, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 18(3): 301-17.
Ackers, L. (2008) ‘Internationalisation, mobility and metrics: A new form of indirect discrimination?’, Minerva 46(4): 411–435.
Cantwell, B. (2011) ‘Transnational Mobility and International Academic Employment: Gatekeeping in an Academic Competition Arena’, Minerva 49: 425–445.
Carrozza, C. and Minucci, S. (forthcoming), ‘Keep on movin’? Research mobility’s meanings for Italian early stage researchers’, Higher Education Policy.
Cresswell, T. (2010), ‘Towards a politics of mobility’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28(1):17–31.
Cruz-Castro, L. and Sanz-Menendez, L. (2010) ‘Mobility vs. job stability: Assessing tenure and productivity outcomes’, Research Policy 39(1): 27-38.
Deloitte Consulting (2014), The Researchers’ Report 2014. Final Report, available at http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/pdf/research_policies/Researchers%20Report%202014_FINAL%20REPORT.pdf
Ivancheva, L. and Gourova, E. (2011) ‘Challenges for career and mobility of researchers in Europe’, Science and Public Policy 38(3): 185–98.
Lawson, C. and Shibayama, S., (2013), ‘Temporary Mobility. A Policy for Academic Career Development’, Working Paper 21/13, Cognetti de Martiis, Dept. of Economics and Statistics, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2257889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2257889
Robertson, S.L. (2010) Critical response to Special Section: international academic mobility, published by the Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS81JA, UK at: http://susanleerobertson.com/publications/
Teferra, D. (2005) ‘Brain Circulation: Unparalleled Opportunities, Underlying Challenges, and Outmoded Presumptions’, Journal of Studies in International Education 9 (3): 229–250.
[i] This work in progress is being developed in collaboration with Tiago Santos Pereira at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra.
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
Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe: New Constellations in European Research and Higher Education Governance
Why do knowledge policies play an increasing role on the European political and policy agenda? What are the synergies and tensions between European research and higher education policies? What have been the successes and challenges in establishing the European Research Council and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology? What role do stakeholders play in the Bologna process? And how strong are the soft modes of EU governance?
These and other questions are addressed in the recently published book ‘Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe: New Constellations in European Research and Higher Education Governance’ edited by Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka. Meng-Hsuan Chou tells us about the rationales for and the key messages of their book.
Q1: How did the idea for this book on the knowledge economy in Europe emerge?
This edited volume gathers contributions from our ‘Europe of Knowledge’ section at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) general conference in Reykjavik in 2011. This was the first time that we – researchers working on knowledge policies (higher education and research) – had our own section at the ECPR. While we have successfully reconvened a ‘Europe of Knowledge’ section at every ECPR general conference since, we wanted to mark the occasion with a publication to promote the study of knowledge policies among EU scholars. At the time, Elgar came out with a new series on ‘New Horizons in European Politics’ and we thought this was a perfect opportunity to introduce the topics to an EU audience. The reason for this is because we believe these two policy sectors have much to offer to those interested in regional integration dynamics. Moreover, I thought it would be interesting to spotlight the policies that are quite important to academics, as European knowledge policies affect how we teach and carry out basic research.
Q2: The book analyses two central pillars of the ‘Europe of Knowledge’, research and higher education policies. Have the processes of European integration in these two policy areas developed similarly or differently?
European cooperation in the fields of research and higher education has followed different pathways. We describe these developments in Chapter 1, which is available here for readers, but they can be summarised in a nutshell as follow: knowledge cooperation started very early in the integration process. Research cooperation has, however, evolved much further due to the overall national sensitivity surrounding higher education issues. A key development for research policy cooperation occurred in the 1980s: the institutionalisation of the Framework Programmes, which is now synonymous with EU research policy even though this area of cooperation is more than just about funding.
Higher education entered the political and policy spotlight with the signing of the Sorbonne Declaration and the launch of the Bologna Process at the end of the 1990s. Cooperation in this area has been very practical, e.g. establishing common degree structures and transferring course units, but of course it is also political. It is important to note that Bologna, with 47 members, is not an EU process, even though the Commission is heavily involved. The knowledge policy portfolio is spread across several of the Commission’s Directorates-General (DGs) and this contributes to the complexity of the governance process. I believe it is this very complexity that makes studying European knowledge policy cooperation so interesting.
Q3: One of the chapters looks at the establishment of European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which has to bring together research, higher education and innovation. What does the specific case of EIT tell us about the challenges for interaction among the different pillars of Europe of Knowledge?
The EIT chapter, by Åse Gornitzka and Julia Metz, tells us that creating an institution under ‘inhospitable conditions’ is possible, but it requires very powerful promoters at the very highest political level – in this case, Commission President Barroso. These ‘inhospitable conditions’ reflect precisely the governance division between research, higher education and innovation – the respective political and policy actors defended their sectoral turfs and perceived the establishment of the EIT as a ‘threat’. Barroso was able to successfully secure its establishment, but, in the end, he also did not have the EIT he initially wanted (i.e. the MIT model, university with top researchers). After the EIT was created, another set of actors came on-board and took over its daily operations. What the EIT case reveals is that the different pillars of the Europe of Knowledge may require heavy political steering to interact if new institutions were to deliver the intended outcomes.
Q4: European integration in research and higher education policies is characterised by the soft modes of governance such as the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). What are their advantages and limitations?
The OMC injects flexibility into compliance and allows different interpretation of agreed standards to co-exist. While the OMC may succeed in bringing people to the ‘mutual exchange’ table with some progress towards collective objectives, it does not generally latch on to another process to ensure continuity in some areas where progress is indeed being made. Therefore, in Åse Gornitzka’s chapter on the OMC, she argues for approaching the OMC from another perspective: what it tells us about how political and administrative institutions interact with this process and their respective experiences. She finds that, in the case of Norway, the OMC has become a ‘transmission belt’ for generating policy information as well as policy learning and ‘teaching’.
Q5: Some chapters of your book look at national responses to European integration processes in knowledge policy areas. Do you see any major national differences, for example, between Scandinavian countries and Spain?
Yes, there are major differences between countries and not just between the so-called Northern countries and those in the South. For instance, in Hanne Foss Hansen’s chapter – ‘“Quality agencies”: the development of regulating and mediating organizations in Scandinavian higher education’ – she demonstrates that, even though the Nordic countries share a tradition in how they perceive the role of higher education in society, they ultimately adopted different systems for quality assurance. In my chapter with José Real-Dato, which looks at how Norwegian and Spanish institutions approached the EU Commission-promoted Human Resource Strategy, we show that diverse national strategies and translation capacity explain variation in the speed and the extent of uptake. The domestic arena is significant in understanding how European integration in the knowledge sectors evolves, or does not.
Q6: You have worked and studied in the United States, Europe and Asia. Are knowledge policies in Europe considerably different from those in other world regions?
Yes, there are differences in terms of the emphases within debates about how knowledge should and could be used. For instance, in the US, I hear more about how knowledge could be used to advance the society’s wellbeing. The question being raised includes ‘How can we ensure equal access to high-quality education?’; this debate resonates with the phenomenon of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) sweeping the world. In Europe, solving the ‘grand challenges’ and the role of science in policymaking are central themes. In Asia, the focus is more on how knowledge could be used to increase the national overall economic competitiveness and to secure a lead in the decades to come. But, of course, these differences are very subtle and nearly all countries in the world are concerned about all these aspects. What I find surprising is that there are less talks about the role of higher education in ‘citizen making’. Indeed, it appears as if overnight we all became global citizens, moving seamlessly around the world, which is simply not true.
Q7: What are the main messages for scholars and practitioners of knowledge policies emerging from your book?
Since European integration takes place under different conditions and parameters, its evolution continues to attract considerable interest. This is especially the case for emerging policy areas subject to integration because these developments shed new light on the direction, dynamics and, an increasingly debated aspect, the very sustainability of Europe’s political order. Knowledge policies are one of these emerging areas. For scholars, I think what is especially interesting is that European knowledge policy governance occurs through supranational, intergovernmental and transnational processes in which the EU has different roles: as a key actor, an observer or merely one of several. These multiple avenues of integration provide a unique case to explore the different facets of integration dynamics – especially for refining concepts such as ‘differentiated integration’.
For practitioners, I believe that our book provides theoretically grounded explanations as to why knowledge policies are extremely difficult to regulate. The chapters in this volume go beyond the conventional argument that ‘knowledge policies are too sensitive for the EU to regulate’. Indeed, the cases demonstrate that other factors matter; for instance, from sectoral competition in the realm of knowledge policies, and a Commission President’s vision to European higher education institutions’ diverse motivations to participate in OMC-like processes. There are general lessons to be extracted, not least for European integration, but also for other regional processes.
Q8: What would be promising research lines for future studies on regional and global governance of knowledge?
I think the most promising research approach would be comparative. As Europeanists, we tend to study EU as n = 1 and are entirely focussed on explaining its developments and nuances. But this perspective actually harms European integration studies because we overlook the interesting developments occurring elsewhere. Pauline Ravinet and I are currently discussing the global phenomenon we call ‘higher education regionalism’ and deciphering ways in which we can begin to identify, understand, and explain the emergence of ad hoc regional higher education initiatives throughout the last few decades (and seemingly more in the making!).
Another promising approach would be interdisciplinary collaborative work. There are many researchers working on issues concerning knowledge governance, but we are scattered across many disciplines. I think this is where UACES’s (Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies) collaborative research network on the European Research Area is so useful – it really facilitates sharing ideas and findings across disciplinary boundaries.
In terms of specific topics, I think it would be fascinating to compare how different world regions address or attempt to regulate the digital revolution sweeping higher education and research. What questions are being asked? What ideas are given prominence? Is there any policy learning involved? Have we moved beyond competition? Indeed, have the world’s geographical regions been reconfigured into new constellations of alliances? If so, who governs?
Dr Meng-Hsuan Chou is Nanyang Assistant Professor in Public Policy and Global Affairs at NTU, Singapore and an Associate Fellow at EU Centre Singapore. She is the Academic Coordinator for the UACES Collaborative Research Network on the European Research Area. Hsuan chaired the Europe of Knowledge section at the 2011 and 2013 ECPR conferences and will be co-chairing the 2014 section. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Contemporary European Research and PS: Political Science & Politics. She is currently researching how governments in Asia, Europe and North America compete for foreign talent in a globalised era and how scholarly networks are organised across time.
This entry was simultaneously posted on Ideas of Europe blog platform.
Organising Scholarly Networks – 18 Dec 2014, London, UK
Recent years have witnessed the publication of a succession of policy reports and the adoption of legislation on student, scholarly and researcher mobility that promotes the value-added of academic exchange. In these documents, policymakers and academic administrators argue that academic mobility fosters intellectual exchange and growth as a result of scholars being exposed to new ideas and ways of seeing the world. This is an idea that has a long history. Since the end of the nineteenth century, as new forms of technology and communication linked people across the world, academics, politicians and philanthropists, saw in scholarly mobility an opportunity for international exchange, knowledge development and the exercise of political, social and cultural power.
But the organisation and the impact of scholarly exchange programmes over time are under-researched. We do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of the development of the idea of scholarly exchange, of its long-term intellectual and policy consequences or of its multiple benefits (societal, political, intellectual and so on). While some studies on academic mobility are beginning to emerge, the literature is currently fragmented across different disciplines and national constituencies, and comparative and longitudinal studies are wanting. In the context of austerity measures across Europe, many academic exchange programmes are being cut even as the idea of intellectual exchange is being heavily promoted as the tool that will, for example, transform Europe into the innovation leader in the global economy. The wisdom of such cuts in the context of a wider purported shift to the ‘knowledge economy’ is at best unclear, and it constitutes the starting point for our exploration. This workshop aims to generate a debate informed by research about the role of scholarly exchange programmes in knowledge exchange and policy-making.
Prof Louise Ackers (Salford University)
Dr Heike Jöns (Loughborough University)
We encourage interdisciplinary contributions from researchers at all career stages. Specifically, we welcome empirically rich papers that address the following questions: When did the idea of international scholarly exchange emerge as a pedagogic concept? What are the nature and long-term consequences of such exchange across borders? Who has benefited from such schemes, and who has been excluded from them? How have these changed over time and what is the relationship between such changes and the organisation of, and policy development associated with, formal exchange programmes?
Please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org before 1 August 2014
- Paper title
- Abstract (500 words)
- Your name, email and contact details
- Current institutional affiliation and position
Dr Tamson Pietsch (Brunel University, London)
Dr Meng-Hsuan Chou (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Please see full call here: http://events.history.ac.uk/event/show/12981