225 The European Research Area – Issues and Approaches

Thursday, June 27, 2013: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
1.14 (PC Hoofthuis)
Research is regarded as a cornerstone of the future European  knowledge society, both for its economic development and its social cohesion. At both the national and the international policy levels it is recognized that the European knowledge society and knowledge economy will benefit from a well-functioning research system that goes beyond the national boundaries of the EU member states. At the same time, higher education and research traditionally belong to the competences of the nation states.  Therefore, the further development of higher education and research at the European level is interesting from a policy perspective and full of potential tensions that ask for smart policies. In the last decades, many policy initiatives have been taken to harmonize the different higher education and research systems of the EU member countries. Research has been prioritized to various degrees by national governments and new developments in research funding occurred. Increasingly, research excellence has been evaluated via research council funding at the national level, and also at the European level through the Framework Programmes as well as through national research evaluation exercises. Peer review still takes center stage in these evaluations. However, the influence of various other stakeholders in the determination of excellence criteria has increased and should be subject to further analysis in terms of effectiveness. 

During this global recession  it is thus highly important to ask: how is the Europeanization of research taking place and how is has it been impacted  by the budget crisis? What are the key processes, actors and policy instruments in the emerging European higher education area? How are the European institutions of research funding influencing the national research policies and individual universities? What are the implications of national and increasingly European research programming for performance and funding criteria in the nation states and individual universities? How do nation states and different epistemic communities negotiate the European agenda for science? This panel will address the above issues taking stock of the state of the current research in the area. The most important policy trends, rules and barriers will be dealt with from the policy analysis perspective.

We propose that the combination of the theoretical perspectives will facilitate deeper insights into the multi-level and multi-actor governance of research. First, the study of institutional orders, and specifically determining the kind of institutional logics that imprint the organizational field of universities in their interaction with their environment will contribute to organizational sociology. This allows us to specify the mechanism of theorization, whereby certain institutions, such as academic professions, are being challenged by a different type of logic of state and markets/managerialism at the European and nation state levels. This will allow us to contribute to the understanding of de-institutionalization and pre-institutionalization processes (Greenwood et al. 2002, Thornton et al. 2012) Further, the study of Europeanization of research will be facilitated by the varieties of capitalism approach (Hall and Soskice, 2001), which will allow us to understand the comparative dimension of the interaction between research and economic systems in the EU countries.

Liudvika Leisyte and Michael Dobbins
Don F. Westerheijden
Research Evaluation and Its Implications for Academic Research in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands
Liudvika Leisyte, University of Twente; Don F. Westerheijden, University of Twente
The New Finnish Research Funding Model and Its Implications for Academic Research
Jani Ursin, University of Jyväskylä; Terhi Nokalla, University of Jyväskylä
Higher Education in Europe and the European Commission
Katharina Krug, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
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