1st Edition

Academic Capitalism Universities in the Global Struggle for Excellence

By Richard Münch Copyright 2014
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the intensifying struggle for excellence between universities in a globalized academic field. The rise of the entrepreneurial university and academic capitalism are superimposing themselves on the competition of scientists for progress of knowledge and recognition by the scientific community. The result is a sharpening institutional stratification of the field. This stratification is produced and continuously reproduced by the intensified struggle for funds with the shrinking of block grants and the growing significance of competitive funding, as well as the increasing impact of international and national rankings on academic research and teaching. The increased allocation of funds on the basis of performance leads to overinvestment of resources at the small top and underinvestment for the broad mass of universities in the middle and lower ranks. There is a curvilinear inverted u-shaped relationship of investments and returns in terms of knowledge production. Paradoxically, the intrusion of the economic logic and measures of managerial controlling into the academic field imply increasing inefficiency in the allocation of resources to universities. The top institutions suffer from overinvestment, the rank-and-file institutions from underinvestment. The economic inefficiency is accompanied by a shrinking potential for renewal and open knowledge evolution.

    Introduction: Struggling for Excellence in the Academic Field  1. The New Rules of Science: From Gift Exchange to the Shanghai World League of Universities  2. The Entrepreneurial University: From Homo Academicus to Homo Oeconomicus  3. Constructing Excellence by Evaluation  4. The Monopoly Mechanism in Science  5. From Competition to Stratification: Universities in the Struggle for Funds, Staff and Students  6. The Allocation of Funds and International Fellows Among Universities: Publication Performance versus Accumulated Capital  7. The Allocation of Funds and Reputation Among Departments: Publication Performance versus Accumulated Capital.  Conclusion: Universities in the Global Struggle for Excellence.  Appendix.


    Richard Münch is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bamberg.