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Knowledge Politics and Policies

Standing Group

Established 2016 - Number of members: 245

Steering Committee Chair

  • Mitchell Young (Charles University)

Steering Committee

  • Martina Vukasovic (Universitetet i Bergen)
  • Inga Ulnicane (De Montfort University)
  • Alina Jasmin Felder (Universität St Gallen)
  • Sara Diogo (Universidade de Aveiro)
  • Jens Jungblut (Universitetet i Oslo)
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This Standing Group brings together scholars whose work relates to the deeply interconnected fields of higher education, research, and innovation to encourage debates and research on the politics and policies in these areas (knowledge politics and policies). Over the past decades, several developments have contributed to the growing political significance of higher education, research, and innovation in international, regional, and national arenas. First, the steady trend towards the massification of higher education throughout the world implies that more and more of the world’s population is engaging in tertiary education. This has led to both increased public and private investments in the sector, as well as politically salient discussions concerning access and quality (excellence). Second, the turn towards ‘knowledge’ as providing policy solutions to grand societal challenges has placed higher education, research, and innovation at the centre stage of ‘smart’ multi‐level policymaking. And third, the economies and societies of today are described as ‘knowledge-based’ that draw their competitive advantage from well‐functioning knowledge sectors.

Aims & Objectives

To advance contemporary political research, it is essential to attend to how politics configure developments in the higher education, research, and innovation sectors, and how these developments in turn reconfigure politics. This Standing Group is a collaborative platform that facilitates interdisciplinary research on the politics and policies of higher education, research, and innovation. The goal is to offer sustained analyses of these developments by generating comparative insights on all aspects of scholarly research—methodologies, theories, data collection, processing and analysis into the dynamics and complexities of knowledge policymaking around the world. 


In addition to external and internal dissemination of Standing Group activities (website, blog, Twitter), members are involved in the following: 

  • Organising the ECPR Section on the Politics of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation.
  • Endorsing a Workshop for the ECPR Joint Sessions.
  • Working on joint publications such as special issues and edited volumes.
  • Preparing joint funding applications to third parties for supporting research projects.
  • Training for students and junior scholars interested in researching and learning about the politics of higher education, research, and innovation.
  • Establishing a permanent discussion and exchange of ideas.