Call for Papers: ECPR Europe of Knowledge section

ecprWe are pleased to share with you the following call for papers for the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) conference and the Europe of Knowledge section. The conference will take place in Glasgow, 3 – 6 September 2014.

Europe of Knowledge section: The year 2014 is significant for the Europe of Knowledge, marking the long-anticipated delivery and renewal of Europe’s ambition to become the global knowledge leader. Indeed, it is the deadline set for completing the European Research Area (ERA), as well as the official start of Horizon 2020, the main European Union (EU) funding instrument for pure and applied research. Against this backdrop, the third Europe of Knowledge section invites contributions to go beyond the ‘crisis mode’ that has occupied EU studies in recent years and to critically reflect on the evolution of European knowledge cooperation and governance. 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 construction of the Europe of Knowledge. By ‘role’, we refer to the effects that an idea, an actor (individual or organisational), a policy instrument and an institution have on the ‘knowledge area building’ exercise. Our focus on ‘roles’ is to enable a multidisciplinary discussion on whether these factors share defining characteristics across the different knowledge policy domains (i.e. research and higher education). From a research design perspective, this entails conceptualising the ‘four I’s’ as either independent or intervening variables. Individual panels are encouraged to have a mix of papers reflecting the three thematic sectors of this section: higher education, research and science. This section continues to welcome all scholars, theoretical and methodological approaches (e.g. political science, European and EU studies, higher education studies, science and technology studies, international relations and public policy), to critically discuss the reconfiguration of European knowledge systems.

The following panels are issuing calls for papers, please send the following information to the designated contacts before 19 January 2014

  • Full name
  • University/Institution
  • Postal Address
  • Email Address
  • The name of any co-authors
  • The title of the paper
  • Keyword(s)
  • Research discipline
  • A 250-word abstract

The ‘big’ ideas in the Europe of Knowledge

Chair/discussant: Meng-Hsuan Chou (NTU, Singapore)

As Europe enters another phase in its knowledge cooperation with the launch of Horizon 2020, this panel takes a reflective approach and focuses on the role of ideas in these developments. Ideas are pervasive in all aspects of public policymaking at both the national and European 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, ideas, championed by ‘amplifiers’, may chart the pathways of integration in unexpected ways. This panel invites contributions that explore the role that ideas play in European research and higher education policy cooperation. By ‘role’, we refer to the independent or intervening effects that an idea – such as the ‘fifth freedom’, competitiveness, excellence, talent, internationalisation, ‘digital revolution’, ‘Single Market of Knowledge’ and so on – have had on constructing the Europe of Knowledge.

Papers in this panel are invited to address any of these questions: What are the prominent ideas in the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area and how have they determined the evolution of the Europe of Knowledge? Are there visible European and national 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 European and domestic 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 address these questions, we welcome comparative, theoretical and empirical approaches using documentary, survey or interview data.

Send paper abstracts to: Meng-Hsuan Chou (hsuan.chou@cantab.net), deadline 19 January 2014

Opening the ‘black-box’ of political actors in the Europe of Knowledge

Chair/discussant: Dragan Mihajlovic (BIGSSS, Germany)

Actors promote ideas and interests, and finally adopt policies in the Europe of Knowledge, but actor constellations shaping and emerging due to the overlapping boundaries of education and research remain very much a ‘black-box’. This panel invites papers to examine the role of politics and actors in the Europe of Knowledge.

Potential contributions could address the following: Is there a dominant set of actors who are the driving force in the process of creating the Europe of Knowledge? Who are these actors on an individual or organisational level, what politics do they represent, and how do they reconcile the overlapping boundaries between education and research? Are they moving between the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area? If so, are EU knowledge policies more coherent as a result of these actors’ stable interests? Or are these policies lacking coherence because these actors’ interests are in flux due to struggles in different fields? To what extent do the outcomes reflect these tensions? From another angle, contributions could also investigate: how are party politics, coalitions, political cleavages, social forces, and/or actor networks affecting policy? How do political changes over time within the member states impact EU policy formation?

Papers might also take a more methodological approach: Is the world of policy making in the Europe of Knowledge virtually unknowable? How can we reveal these hidden processes? Are there prevailing ideas, interests, instruments and institutions (4Is) that political actors represent or stand for? How can we identify them and make them analytically operational?

Send paper abstracts to: Dragan Mihajlovic (mihajlovic@bigsss.uni-bremen.de), deadline 19 January 2014

Converging modes of governance in the Europe of Knowledge (I): academic-oriented science

Chair/discussant: Dagmar Simon/Tim Flink (WZB, Germany)

Academic-oriented research seems to stand at the crossroads of either becoming increasingly defined by political and commercial interests or remaining autonomous in its operations, given that core scientific institutions are facing tremendous reorganization, with strategic concepts, governance modes and partnerships changing, and with new actors and actors’ constellations suddenly rising up. This panel aims at discussing developments pertaining to academic-oriented science vis-à-vis politics, business and society. The discussions will be comparatively linked up to the second panel concerning regulatory science.

Send paper abstracts to: Tim Flink (tim.flink@wzb.eu), deadline 19 January 2014

Converging modes of governance in the Europe of Knowledge (II): regulatory science

Chair/discussant: Rebecca-Lea Korinek/Holger Straßheim (WZB, Germany)

Regulatory science shows contradictions seemingly pertaining to the transforming of the science-policy nexus in total: the political interest in science to solve collective problems has never been higher, e.g. under the heading of evidence-based policy. However, while political and administrative actors in these areas insist on the scientific basis of regulation, regulatory science has lost credibility. Moreover, the dichotomy between academic-oriented and regulatory science has been contested, calling for more complex concepts of the science-policy-politics-nexus, its governance modes and cultural embeddedness. In discussing regulatory science vis-à-vis the state, business and society, this panel systematically links up to the second panel concerning academic-oriented science.

Send paper abstracts to: Tim Flink (tim.flink@wzb.eu), deadline 19 January 2014

Comparative higher education regionalism

Chair/discussant: Marie-Luce Paris (UCD, Ireland)/Pauline Ravinet (Lille, France)

Higher education is often considered the next frontier in the ‘knowledge economy’ race to attract, train and retain the ‘best-and-brightest’. Throughout the last two decades, we see a multiplication of regional initiatives pre-dating or attempting to replicate the success of the Bologna Process. This panel invites papers to reflect on the uniqueness of the European experience as a part of the wider global phenomenon known as ‘higher education regionalism’.

Send paper abstracts to: Pauline Ravinet (pauline.ravinet-2@univ-lille2.fr), deadline 19 January 2014

Instruments for attracting talent to the Europe of Knowledge

Chair/discussant: Lucie Cerna (OECD)

Attracting talent – students, researchers, entrepreneurs, professionals and scientists – remains a cornerstone for the Europe of Knowledge and this panel invites papers to examine the adopted instruments for this purpose. Policy instruments in the knowledge domain come in a variety of forms. They may be, inter alia, ‘hard’ (i.e. directives, regulations), ‘soft’ (standards), ‘distributive’ (framework programmes, now Horizon 2020), or even ‘networked’. Put simply, the instruments for consolidating the European Research Area (ERA) and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) – the two central pillars making up the Europe of Knowledge – can be considered to be a veritable ‘policy mix’.

This panel invites contributions that explore the role of instruments for attracting talent to the Europe of Knowledge. We are interested in papers that identify the explanatory or intervening effect that policy design and implementation have had on knowledge policy integration in Europe. Papers can address developments at the EU-level or the implementation or translation of EU instruments in domestic arenas. We welcome analyses of knowledge policy instruments in these areas: scientific mobility (e.g. knowledge networks; talent migration; scientific visa); funding; qualifications framework and so on.

Papers can address any of these questions: How are these instruments developed, by whom, according to what models and with what political aims? What are the effects of policy implementation? To what extent has Europe succeeded in meeting its targets? In order to better assess developments in and outside of Europe, we also welcome a comparative approach: To what extent can we speak of EU/European approaches? Can we find similarities between EU instruments and those that have been adopted elsewhere in the world or in other regions (Asia, Latin America, Africa and so on)?

Send paper abstracts to: Lucie Cerna (lucie.cerna@oecd.org), deadline 19 January 2014

Instruments for research funding in the Europe of Knowledge

Chair/discussant: Mitchell Young (Charles University, Czech Republic)

Research funding instruments play a crucial role in shaping what is researched, where, and by whom. While the vast majority of research funding is controlled by national governments, the EU nevertheless has actively sought to shape the overall environment. This panel is interested in contributions that explore the effects that funding instruments have in constructing the Europe of Knowledge as well as the multi-level interaction between national and European instruments.

Policy instruments come in a variety of forms. They may be, inter alia, ‘hard’ (i.e. directives, regulations), ‘soft’ (standards, Europe 2020 objectives), ‘distributive’ (framework programmes, now Horizon 2020), or even ‘networked’. We welcome analyses of any policy instruments that have shaped and are shaping research funding in Europe. This includes the broad distributive frameworks programmes, but also the specific instruments which are found under this umbrella (ERC, Societal Challenges, Marie Curie, EIT) as well as instruments related to mobility, spending levels, industrial competitiveness etc. We are especially interested in papers that identify the explanatory or intervening effect that policy design and implementation have had on knowledge policy integration in Europe, particularly those national instruments that incentivise applications to EU funding programmes. Papers can focus on developments at the EU-level or the implementation or translation of EU instruments in domestic arenas.

Papers can address any of these questions: How are the instruments developed, by whom, according to what models and with what political aims? Are the national and EU instruments competing or complementing? Is there evidence to suggest that national or EU instruments are steering European research or higher education governance? Or are the pressures external to the integration process (‘internationalisation’)? What are the effects of policy implementation? To what extent has Europe succeeded in meeting its targets?

Send paper abstracts to: Mitchell Young (young@fsv.cuni.cz), deadline 19 January 2014

Section coordinators:

Meng-Hsuan Chou is Nanyang Assistant Professor in public policy and global affairs at NTU, Singapore. She has chaired ECPR’s Europe of Knowledge sections in 2011 and 2013 and is the academic coordinator of UACES’s European Research Area CRN.

Mitchell Young is a doctoral candidate at Charles University in Prague researching European Higher Education and Research Areas, public management, research evaluation and funding policies.