Tag: ECPR

Conference review: Knowledge politics and policies section @ECPR 2016

Dr. Martina Vukasovic  (CHEGG, Ghent University)

Dr. Martina Vukasovic
(CHEGG, Ghent University)

This guest entry by Martina Vukasovic (CHEGG, Ghent University) summarises the panels and presentations from the ECPR General Conference. 

The 2016 edition of the General Conference of ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) took place in Prague, 7-10 September 2016. Approx. 2000 participants presented their most recent work in political science, policy analysis, public administration and related areas of inquiry in almost 70 different sections. The newly formed ECPR Standing Group on Politics of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, for the sixth time in a row organized a section dedicated to knowledge politics and policies.

The section consisted of eight thematic panels comprising 3-5 papers each, spread over the three conference days.

First, ‘Applying Complex Systems Theory to Higher Education and Research Policy’ panel looked beyond the commonplace description of political and policy phenomena as complex and discussed the possibilities of using complexity theory for public policy analysis. It featured presentations by Graham Room about agile actors on complex educational terrains (author of the 2011 book on Complexity, Institutions and Public Policy) , Sandra Hasanefendic about using complex adaptive system theory for analysing behaviour of higher education institutions, Mads P. Sørensen on complex policy conditions conducive to scientific breakthroughs and research excellence and Mitchell Young on the linkages between policy dynamics and biological systems.

The second panel – ‘Market-Making of, in, and around European Higher Education’ – focused on marketization of higher education, both as a process and as an outcome. Janja Komljenovic presented her work on actors involved in the process of construction of ‘diverse, variegated, processual and relational’ markets. Christopher Pokarier focused on expansion and downscaling of higher education market in postwar Japan, while Lukas Graf focused on decentralized cooperation in skill formation. Eva Hartmann then shed light on international coordination service firms (European Quality Improvement Systems (EQUIS) and their role in privatization of higher education. Finally, Susan Robertson focused on contradiction between the global trade agreements in the making (e.g. TTIP, TPP) and a creative and dynamic knowledge-based economy. 




ECPR standing group: Politics of Higher Education, Research and Innovation

Recently, the European Consortium of Political Research approved the application on establishing a new Standing Group for Politics of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. We have asked Meng-Hsuan Chou (Nanyang Technological University – NTU, one of the convenors of the SG) and Jens Jungblut (INCHER, Kassel, a member of the steering group) about their thoughts about the new standing group and the importance of this development.

What was the main rationale for establishing the SG?

Dr. Meng Hsuan Chou

Dr. Meng-Hsuan Chou (Nanyang Technological University)

Meng-Hsuan Chou: “The ECPR Standing Group on the Politics of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation builds on the work that network members have done within the framework of the UACES CRN on the European Research Area. We wish to consolidate and expand the excellent collaboration we have had and the CRN’s past and on-going success with organising a section at the ECPR General Sessions points to the Standing Group as a great platform for our continuation.”

Jens Jungblut highlights also the increasing relevance of the topic in global policy debates: “As higher education, research and innovation policies are becoming more relevant for contemporary societies and also more politically salient, we felt that there is a need for greater attention to this in political science sometimes neglected policy area. Furthermore, we felt that this policy area has characteristics that make it an interesting case for many different conceptual and methodological approaches.”

Jens Jungblut  (INCHER, Kassel)

Jens Jungblut
(INCHER, Kassel)

What are your main expectations for the SG?

Jens Jungblut highlights the potential added value of cross-disciplinary interactions: “The aim is to grow and connect a community of scholars with differing backgrounds that come together in the Standing Group with their diverse approaches to enhance scholarship both subject specific but also in more general terms. The overall hope is that this will lead to intensified collaborations with regard to publications and joint research projects.”

Adding to this, Meng-Hsuan Chou emphasizes the cumulative work building on existing ERA-CRN network: “We expect the Standing Group to provide the same collaborative opportunities as the UACES CRN had offered for the past three years (2013-2016). We are especially keen to promote the research findings of Standing Group members to a wider academic and policy audience within and beyond Europe.”




Call for papers: Politics of higher education, research and innovation section at ECPR 2016

one of the panels at the section for Knowledge policies at the 2015 ECPR conference in Montreal

The section for Knowledge policies at the 2015 ECPR conference in Montreal

The ECPR conference has for several years had a successful section on Europe of Knowledge (for instance, read reviews on the 2014, 2013 and 2011 conferences). This year, the section has been widened in relation to the proposed Standing Group on knowledge politics. Below is the global call for papers for the section at ECPR 2016 conference.

This is a global call for the ECPR 2016 ‘Politics of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation’ section (formerly Europe of Knowledge) endorsed by the proposed Standing Group of the same name.The ECPR General Conference will be held on 7-10 September 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.

You will find below the section abstract along with short panel abstracts and the contact details of the panel organisers. Extended CFPs for each panel will be circulated and posted on the CRN’s site in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in submitting a paper to one of these panels please contact the panel chair(s) directly (contacts are below) to discuss your ideas before the 24th of January 2016 or submit an abstract independently to the section before the formal deadline (15 February 2016) via MyECPR. Please note that ECPR only allows individuals to perform each conference function (including paper presenter) once within the academic programme, though multiple co-authorship is possible.

Section description: Knowledge policies are at the forefront of contemporary global politics and are seen as the foundation on which societies coalesce and economies thrive. This section builds on the previous four sections on the Europe of Knowledge and invites contributions from around the world to consider the various dimensions of knowledge policy development. 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, multi-level, multi-issue, and multi-actor governance of knowledge policies, including failures and successes. By ‘role’, we refer to effects that ideas, actors (individual, organisational), policy instruments/mixes, and institutions have had on the governance of knowledge policies, and vice-versa. We focus on ‘roles’ to enable a multidisciplinary discussion on whether these factors share defining characteristics across different knowledge policy domains (i.e. research, higher education, and innovation), and between distinct governance levels and geographical regions. This section continues to welcome scholars from all theoretical and methodological approaches to critically discuss the reconfiguration of knowledge systems around the world.




Call for participants: ECPR standing group for higher education and research

ecprThere is currently a process of establishing a Standing group with ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) on the ‘Politics of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’.

The Standing Group will facilitate research and debates on the politics of higher education, research and innovation around the world. It will do so by bringing together scholars at all stages of their careers from a variety of disciplines, including political science, international relations, European and area studies, research policy, higher education studies, law, and sociology of science and technology.

The intended academic activities include, for instance, engaging with the critical debates on the politics of higher education, research and innovation in practice, discussing all aspects of research (methodologies, theories, data collection, processing, and analysis), joint publishing, hosting workshops and applying for joint projects.

If your find the topics of relevance for your research and if you wish to be a member of the standing group, you can provide your endorsement here

eracrnThis initiative builds on the highly successful UACES collaborative research network on the European Research Area (ERA CRN). Since 2013, members of the ERA CRN have published several special issues and edited volumes on the politics of knowledge policies, organised a range of workshops and conference panels, as well as initiated several joint research projects. You can find more information about the ERA-CRN here.




Call for papers: The Global Governance of Knowledge Policies: Europe of Knowledge in Context

ecprNext year, the ECPR conference will be held 26-29 August 2015 in Montreal, Canada. For the first time, ECPR is going global, with the conference held outside of Europe.

On this occasion, the Europe of Knowledge section is expanding as well, the title for 2015 is “The Global Governance of Knowledge Policies: Europe of Knowledge in Context“.

Abstract for the section: 

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.

Current panel proposals (we have included the extended abstracts for the panels that have published the extended call, and we will update this post when more of these calls get published, check also the ERA-CRN site):