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The European Research Area: Beyond Market Politics

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The way the European Union regards science and research is changing. There is an increased emphasis on producing marketable deliverables for financial gain. At the same time, the advent of Horizon 2020 raises important yet often-overlooked questions. Where is it exactly that European research policy is heading? And is this in line with where it […]

Integrating Social Sciences and Humanities in Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges: Will it work?

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Reports from various parts of Europe confirm urgency of the topics put forward by the conference “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” held last week 23-24 September 2013 in Vilnius under the Lithuanian EU Presidency. On twitter alone, the conference hashtag #horizonsSSH was used more than 600 times. The conference was widely covered in traditional and […]

Can regions shape university performance?

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During the last twenty years researchers and policymakers have focused their discourses on the important role that universities play in stimulating the development of regions under the umbrella concept of “knowledge economies” [i]. Universities contribute to the region generating research and consultancy income, embedding knowledge in students and employees, upgrading regional business environments and potentially […]

The Science and Research Factor: Policy Deficit in Australia or a Failure to Articulate Impact?

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What does allocation of cabinet portfolios tells about the priorities of the government (and society)? An opportunity to reflect on the need for a science minister is provided by a new Australian government, where such portfolio does not exist.   This week a new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet were sworn in […]

Comments please: How can social sciences and humanities be better integrated in research on ‘Societal Challenges’?

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In an earlier post, Thomas Koenig wrote about the upcoming Lithuanian EU Presidency conference ‘Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities’, which reacts to the so-called ‘integrative approach’ the European Commission proposed in the preparation of the ‘Horizon 2020’ research funding programme; more precisely the third pillar known as the ‘societal challenges’. Seven such challenges have […]

Funding research in Europe: New horizons for social sciences and humanities?

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Next week, September 23-24, the Lithuanian EU Presidency will host a conference on “Horizons on Social Sciences and Humanities” in Vilnius. While it is not the first gathering to discuss the role of Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe, this conference is certainly unique, for it combines several features. For the first time, a consultation […]

System integration and institutional autonomy in research and higher education: dynamics of change at European, national and university levels

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An enduring tension in systemic integration in public sector governance has featured the relations between state and its agencies and organizations devoted to specific tasks. Thus periods of greater leeway to sub-systemic organizational autonomy have intertwined with periods of contraction and stronger central control, and vice versa. A recent example is the wave of so-called […]

Competing for foreign talent in a globalised world: is Europe losing out?

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Labour market shortages in high-skilled sectors, demographic changes and the constant pressure to innovate have prompted governments around the world to engage in a global competition for talent. Against this context, the regional dimension has become increasingly important as governments seek to activate all policy instruments in the race for the ‘best and brightest’. This […]

Whither will the Europe of Knowledge amidst the Crisis?

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At the end of the second millennium, the European Union (EU) boldly proclaimed that within a decade it aimed to become the ‘most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world’. This ambition and its renewal through the Europe 2020 Strategy have seemingly been forgotten and, indeed, neglected amidst the Crisis. To what extent has […]

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