Minerva 53 (1):1-19 (2015)

This paper offers a conceptually novel contribution to the understanding of the distinctive governance challenges arising from the increasing reliance on formalized knowledge in the governance of research activities. It uses the current Australian research governance system as an example – a system which exhibits a comparatively strong degree of formalization as to its knowledge mechanisms. Combining theoretical reflections on the political-administrative and epistemic dimensions of processes of formalization with analyses of interview data gathered at Australian universities, it is suggested that such a strong reliance on formalized knowledge has rather ambivalent governance ramifications. On the one hand, it allows for a seemingly rational and efficient form of the control and coordination of research activities. Yet on the other hand, it also increases the risk that knowledge is used in governance contexts in superficial, unconsidered and ultimately unreasonable ways. It is further suggested that there are a range of indications that precisely such use elicits and reinforces a range of dysfunctional behaviors on part of relevant individual and organizational actors in the public science system
Keywords Formalization  Governance-knowledge nexus  Australian higher education  Research assessment and management  Research policy and governance  Strategic adaptation  ‘Gaming’
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DOI 10.1007/s11024-015-9266-5
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Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft.Niklas Luhmann - 1999 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 61 (2):388-389.
Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra.Jacob Klein, Eva Brann & J. Winfree Smith - 1969 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 20 (4):374-375.

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