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Systemic rejection: political pressures seen from the science system

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Systemic rejection: political pressures seen from the science system. / Young, Mitchell; Sørensen, Mads P.; Bloch, Carter Walter; Degn, Lise.

I: Higher Education, Bind 74, Nr. 3, 2017, s. 491-505.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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@article{a10795ca594f4cf7b38869b54fd211b6,
title = "Systemic rejection: political pressures seen from the science system",
abstract = "The emphasis on competitiveness and the knowledge-based economy in European policymaking has resulted in a heightened focus on monitoring and steering the science system, particularly through metric-based instruments. Policymakers{\textquoteright} general aims of fostering excellent research and breakthroughs are shared by researchers as well; however, below the surface is a paradox that is rarely discussed. The political system and the science system understand and pursue these concepts and objectives differently. Through two case studies on high-performing university-based research environments in Denmark and Sweden, this article uncovers the ways in which highly successful researchers often behave in ways that run counter to policy steering attempts. They do this by shielding themselves and their research group from steering pressures originating in the political system. Using Luhmann{\textquoteright}s systems theory, the cases demonstrate why the relationship between the science system and the political system needs to be understood as a horizontal rather than a vertical relationship, and using concepts from organizational theory, provides a model and terminology for identifying and analyzing the types of mechanisms and strategic responses that the science system uses to shield itself from political steering pressures.",
keywords = "Research governance, Systems theory, Strategic responses, Excellence, Breakthroughs",
author = "Mitchell Young and S{\o}rensen, {Mads P.} and Bloch, {Carter Walter} and Lise Degn",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1007/s10734-016-0059-z",
language = "English",
volume = "74",
pages = "491--505",
journal = "Higher Education",
issn = "0018-1560",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Systemic rejection: political pressures seen from the science system

AU - Young, Mitchell

AU - Sørensen, Mads P.

AU - Bloch, Carter Walter

AU - Degn, Lise

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - The emphasis on competitiveness and the knowledge-based economy in European policymaking has resulted in a heightened focus on monitoring and steering the science system, particularly through metric-based instruments. Policymakers’ general aims of fostering excellent research and breakthroughs are shared by researchers as well; however, below the surface is a paradox that is rarely discussed. The political system and the science system understand and pursue these concepts and objectives differently. Through two case studies on high-performing university-based research environments in Denmark and Sweden, this article uncovers the ways in which highly successful researchers often behave in ways that run counter to policy steering attempts. They do this by shielding themselves and their research group from steering pressures originating in the political system. Using Luhmann’s systems theory, the cases demonstrate why the relationship between the science system and the political system needs to be understood as a horizontal rather than a vertical relationship, and using concepts from organizational theory, provides a model and terminology for identifying and analyzing the types of mechanisms and strategic responses that the science system uses to shield itself from political steering pressures.

AB - The emphasis on competitiveness and the knowledge-based economy in European policymaking has resulted in a heightened focus on monitoring and steering the science system, particularly through metric-based instruments. Policymakers’ general aims of fostering excellent research and breakthroughs are shared by researchers as well; however, below the surface is a paradox that is rarely discussed. The political system and the science system understand and pursue these concepts and objectives differently. Through two case studies on high-performing university-based research environments in Denmark and Sweden, this article uncovers the ways in which highly successful researchers often behave in ways that run counter to policy steering attempts. They do this by shielding themselves and their research group from steering pressures originating in the political system. Using Luhmann’s systems theory, the cases demonstrate why the relationship between the science system and the political system needs to be understood as a horizontal rather than a vertical relationship, and using concepts from organizational theory, provides a model and terminology for identifying and analyzing the types of mechanisms and strategic responses that the science system uses to shield itself from political steering pressures.

KW - Research governance

KW - Systems theory

KW - Strategic responses

KW - Excellence

KW - Breakthroughs

U2 - 10.1007/s10734-016-0059-z

DO - 10.1007/s10734-016-0059-z

M3 - Journal article

VL - 74

SP - 491

EP - 505

JO - Higher Education

JF - Higher Education

SN - 0018-1560

IS - 3

ER -