Institutionalizing Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity : Collaboration across Cultures and Communities book cover
1st Edition

Institutionalizing Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
Collaboration across Cultures and Communities

ISBN 9780367654344
Published April 7, 2022 by Routledge
278 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Institutionalizing Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity fills a gap in the current literature by systematizing and comparing a wide international scope of case studies illustrating varied ways of institutionalizing theory and practice.

This collection comprises three parts. After an introduction of overall themes, Part I presents case studies on institutionalizing. Part II focuses on transdisciplinary examples, while Part III includes cross-cutting themes, such as funding, evaluation, and intersections between epistemic cultures. With expert contributions from authors representing projects and programs in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Russia and South Caucuses, Latin and North America, this book brings together comparative perspectives on theory and practice, while also describing strategies and models of change. Each chapter identifies dimensions inherent in fostering effective and sustainable practices. Together they advance both analysis and action-related challenges. The proposed conceptual framework that emerges supports innovative practices that are alternatives to dominant academic cultures and approaches in pertinent disciplines, fields, professionals, and members of government, industry, and communities.

Applying a comparative perspective throughout, the contributors reflect on aspects of institutionalizing interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity as well as insights applicable to further contexts. This innovative volume will be of great interest to students, scholars, practitioners, and members of organizations promoting and facilitating interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Institutionalizing interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity Part I: Interdisciplinary institutional spaces and timeframes 2. Excellence with Impact: Why UK research policy discourages "Transdisciplinarity" 3. Taking inter- and trans-disciplinarity to eye-level with scientific disciplines (Leuphana College, Germany) 4. Interdisciplinary projects and science policies in Mexico 5. A long and winding road towards institutionalizing interdisciplinarity (Brazil) 6. Interdisciplinary education and research in North America Karri Part II: Transdisciplinary institutional spaces and timeframes 7. The rise of transdisciplinary ‘boundary organisations’ within the Australian Tertiary Education sector 8. A contextual approach to institutional change (Ghanaian higher education) 9. Development of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in modern Russian science and higher education 10. "Leaping over" disciplines: Historical context and future potential for inter- and trans-disciplinarity in Chinese higher education 11. Challenges and opportunities for implementing Transdisciplinary case study approaches in Post-Soviet academic systems 12. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Japan) Part III: Intersections between cultures and communities 13. Epistemic cultures in European intersections of Art‒Science 14. Making and taking time: Work, funding and assessment infrastructures in inter- and trans-disciplinary research 15. Co-productive evaluation of inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation Projects 16. Conclusions: A comparative framework for institutionalizing inter- and trans-disciplinary research and teaching in higher education

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Bianca Vienni Baptista, Senior Researcher at the Transdisciplinarity Lab of the Department of Environmental Systems Science (USYS-TdLab), ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Julie Thompson Klein, Professor of Humanities Emerita at Wayne State University and International Research Affiliate in the Transdisciplinarity Lab at ETH-Zurich, Switzerland.


"The volume brings together a wealth of experience with impediments and successes in institutionalizing inter- and transdisciplinary research (ITDR) through case studies that uniquely cover the regions of the globe. Epistemic and organizational cultures matter and so do the different communities involved in building cross-border collaborations. As the world re-emerges from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, facing a global sustainability crisis, it is of utmost relevance to pursue the institutionalization of ITDR while enabling and empowering younger researchers to explore the new spaces thus created."

Helga Nowotny, Former President of the European Research Council, ERC


"This important volume offers fresh perspectives on how inter- and transdisciplinarity have been conceptualised and institutionalized around the world. Grounded in the latest empirical research, the volume bristles with practical insights, examples of best practice, suggestions about how best to support researchers, and the opportunities inter- and transdisciplinarity afford."

Jane Ohlmeyer, Erasmus Smith’s Professor of History (1762), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and Chair of the Irish Research Council 


"As interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity continue to expand in their global influence, it is imperative that we understand how to institutionalize them so that we can take full advantage of their insights and accomplishments. Edited by two leaders in the field, this book is required reading for anyone interested in building, stabilizing, and sustaining interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary programs."

Michael O'Rourke, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinarity and Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University