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Informed by multiple disciplines, theories, and methods, higher education scholars have developed a robust and diverse literature in many countries. Yet, some important…
Informed by multiple disciplines, theories, and methods, higher education scholars have developed a robust and diverse literature in many countries. Yet, some important (organizational) sociological perspectives, both more established and more recent, are insufficiently linked. In particular, we identify two theoretical strands – institutional and relational – that, when joined, help to explain contemporary developments in global higher education and yield new organizational insights. We review relevant literature from each perspective, both in their general formulations and with specific reference to contemporary higher education research. Within the broad institutional strand, we highlight strategic action fields, organizational actorhood, and associational memberships. Within the relational strand, we focus on ties and relationships that are especially crucial as science has entered an age of (inter)national research collaboration. Across these theories, we discuss linkages between concepts, objects, and levels of analysis. We explore the methodological approach of social network analysis as it offers great potential to connect these strands and, thus, to advance contemporary higher education research in a collaborative era.
This article put forward two claims. First, it argues that, historically, the rationale for education has shifted from religious and national indoctrination to, in the…
This article put forward two claims. First, it argues that, historically, the rationale for education has shifted from religious and national indoctrination to, in the more recent neoliberal period, human capital and the related notion of individual empowerment. Second, the article argues that the recent shift toward individual empowerment is reflected in international organizations’ (IOs) changing emphases in education. IOs’ educational agenda has undergone various changes since their early work in the 1960s: From the structural expansion of national education systems to the measurement of individual educational achievement through a focus on competencies and, most recently, individual psychosocial development.
Based on a content analysis of 60 documents from 38 IOs involved in international education networks between 1990 and 2015, this work identified an expanding field of IOs directing attention to the mental capabilities of a learner. The proliferated model of an individual actorhood reflected in these novel assessment designs will be presented and embedded in wider discussions about the cultural construction of the individual in contemporary world polity.
This chapter explores the trajectories of higher education expansion and its political and social conditions in seven countries, namely China, Japan, Germany, Qatar, South…
This chapter explores the trajectories of higher education expansion and its political and social conditions in seven countries, namely China, Japan, Germany, Qatar, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States of America.
The analysis relies on longitudinal and cross-sectional data gleaned from the World Higher Education Database, UNESCO, and the OECD.
The countries have seen remarkable higher education expansion in the 20th century in terms of enrollments and the foundings of universities, with particularly strong growth in the immediate post-WWII period and since 1990. For the particular case of STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), the chapter shows that in those higher education systems in which growth took off relatively late, universities oriented toward the STEM fields are more dominant than in those with a longer history. Countries with a more recent HE system stress technological development more than those that look back on multiple centuries of HE expansion with their canonical legacies.
Comparing these highly dissimilar countries nevertheless reveals important common patterns, and the variable paces of higher education expansion can be explained by national, social, and political factors driving the institutionalization of higher education and research.
This chapter provides an overview of the findings and chapters of a thematic volume in the International Perspectives on Education and Society (IPES) series. It describes…
This chapter provides an overview of the findings and chapters of a thematic volume in the International Perspectives on Education and Society (IPES) series. It describes the common dataset and methods used by an international research team.
The chapter synthesizes the results of a series of country-level case studies and cross-national and regional comparisons on the growth of scientific research from 1900 until 2011. Additionally, the chapter provides a quantitative analysis of global trends in scientific, peer-reviewed publishing over the same period.
The introduction identifies common themes that emerged across the case studies examined in-depth during the multi-year research project Science Productivity, Higher Education, Research and Development and the Knowledge Society (SPHERE). First, universities have long been and are increasingly the primary organizations in science production around the globe. Second, the chapters describe in-country and cross-country patterns of competition and collaboration in scientific publications. Third, the chapters describe the national policy environments and institutionalized organizational forms that foster scientific research.
The introduction reviews selected findings and limitations of previous bibliometric studies and explains that the chapters in the volume address these limitations by applying neo-institutional theoretical frameworks to analyze bibliometric data over an extensive period.
Rankings are widely regarded as particularly well-suited for capturing the public eye, which is considered a reason why they have become ubiquitous. However, we know…
Rankings are widely regarded as particularly well-suited for capturing the public eye, which is considered a reason why they have become ubiquitous. However, we know little about how rankings direct media attention, as well as how media in turn shape and help sustain careers of specific rankings in the public over longer periods of time. To advance our understanding of the discursive dynamics at the intersection of rankings and the press, this study examines the media career of the Global Slavery Index (GSI) by analyzing 361 newspaper and magazine articles, published between the release of index’s inaugural edition in 2013 and until the end of 2019. To interpret the media coverage, the study draws attention to GSI’s universality, highly rationalized character, and a pledge to spotlight violation of the global moral order. The examination of the media coverage points to the following properties of the index as having shaped and helped sustain its career in the public: (1) repeated publication; (2) broad conceptualization of modern slavery; and (3) the construction thereof as a measurable global burden. The study finds that, throughout the period, the media were remarkably consistent in amplifying the most dramatic elements of the index. Over time, however, the index was increasingly more invoked for other purposes, usually either to lend credibility to a story or as a way of embedding local and situational concerns into global narratives.