Academic Capitalism: Universities in the Global Struggle for Excellence, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Academic Capitalism

Universities in the Global Struggle for Excellence, 1st Edition

By Richard Münch


298 pages | 52 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415840149
pub: 2013-12-27
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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.

Table of Contents

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.

About the Author

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

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General