22 SES 09 A, International Perspectives on Educational Research
European research policies have become increasingly visible since the 1980s. Its genesis can be traced back to the launch of the European Union Framework Programme (EUFP) in 1984 and it got further momentum with the establishment of the so-called European Research Area (ERA) in 2000. The EUFPs have been the privileged instrument of the ERA to boost European research collaboration (Ackers, 2008; Heilbron, 2014) and to find common solutions for common problems or – in the context of evidence-based policy-making – to identify ‘what works’ (Biesta, 2007). By defining targets and research priorities for Member-States, the European Commission, as a supranational regulatory body, plays an important role in the development of a pluri-scalar governance of research (Dale 2007; Lingard & Rawolle, 2011). While evidence exists about the overall rise of scientific publication and some patterns on various levels (Powell, Baker & Fernandez, 2017), we lack multi-level analyses of (supra)national funding programs and their impact on specific disciplines, scientific communities, and organizations. Educational research, among other social sciences disciplines, has been funded since 1994, although the structure of this constellation of knowledge producers is still unclear. The aim of this contribution is to analyze the geographies of knowledge production of European Educational Research through a social network analysis of the research organizations that participated in transnational research projects from 1994 to 2013 (FP4 to FP7). Through CORDIS database, I collected educational research projects and identify the organizations that participated and collaborate in the EUFPs (500 organizations in 99 research projects).
Studies in Sociology of Science to the EUFPs often tend to focus either in micro or in macro analysis. At the micro level studies using bibliometric indicators show the influence of EUFPs on the reputation, career development and citation scores (Peters et al, 2010). Studies focusing on the macro level, often using social network analysis, have shown a correlation between the size of the national research systems with the participation and coordination in EUFPs (Kastrinos, 2010; Peter et al, 2010; Watson et al, 2010). Following the same argument presented by Lazega et al (2008) and Belloti (2012) I assume the need to focus my analysis on the meso-level – organisational level - in order to avoid deterministic explanations of the results. Thus, this contribution intends not only provide a first attempt to understand the constellation of European Educational research promoted by the most advanced supranational funding instrument but also to understand the complex relationship between different levels of analysis – supranational, national and organizational.
Social Network Analysis (SNA) has grown in importance among studies in science to pinpoint and analyze network structures among publications, researchers, and especially, countries (Shi, Foster & Evans, 2015; Siciliano, Welch & Feeney, 2017). Research governance has now also begun to be explored using the tools of SNA (see Hollstein, Matiaske & Schnapp, 2017). For the field of ER, recent contributions have explored interactions among universities in global rankings and the flows of international students (Shields, 2015). Looking at the Portuguese ER landscape, Viseu (2017) has mapped the co-authorship relations, finding collaboration patterns mediated by professional interests and organizational affiliation, and a greater recognition of public authorities to networks that are more internationalized and collaborative. Based on the information collected in the CORDIS database, we gathered data on 99 research projects that were directly related to educational research issues. Following the European and international composition of research teams, we created a database in which each individual organization was coded by its name, specific location (country and region within Europe), organizational form, and the participations in each analyzed EUFP (FP4, FP5, FP6, FP7). The software program Gephi was used to visualize the network and to identify the nodes (research organizations) and the edges (relationships between research organizations). Networks can be understood as non-hierarchical forms of organization composed by interconnections among individuals that are engaged in reciprocal, preferential, and mutually supportive actions (Burt, 1992). To know the position of each research organization, I applied centrality measures - indicators that identify the most important vertices within a network – in order to detect the degree centrality and the influential or prestige position (eigenvector centrality) of each research organization in the network. While the degree centrality identifies the research organizations with the most number of connections (level of interconnectedness), the eigenvector centrality pinpoints the research organizations that are more central because they are in relation with other research organizations that are themselves central (position within the stratification system).
Our results show a polarization, with the continent split, in some sense, as Western-Northern and Southern-Eastern European organizations appear as highly interconnected. Unsurprisingly, the five largest national research systems in Europe—the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain—are over-represented, confirming that research system size greatly facilitates participation and production of EU-funded ER. Nevertheless, while these countries account for the largest absolute number of funded participants, few of the research organizations based in these countries assume the most influential positions in the network. Thus, while the size of the research system might explain the number of research organizations, the capacity to become central and influential might be linked to organizational factors and not related to the size of the research system. Indeed, research organizations (universities, especially) from medium and small research systems are more influential, because they depend on international collaborations and perhaps need the EUFP funds more. This raises new questions about the dynamics of research internationalization strategies at the organizational and disciplinary levels. If the EUFP enables a high level of interconnectedness among European research organizations based in diverse countries, we find a strong core of fully integrated research organizations with more peripheral ones gravitating around it. This finding demands future research about the degree of stratification within the growing and changing landscape of European educational research.
Ackers, L. (2008). Internationalisation, Mobility and Metrics: A New Form of Indirect Discrimination? Minerva 46(4), 411-435. Bellotti, E. (2012). Getting Funded. Multi-level Network of Physicists in Italy, Social Networks, 34(2), 215-229. Biesta, G.J.J. (2007). Why Why ‘What Works’ Won’t Work. Evidence-based Practice and the Democratic Deficit of Educational Research, Educational Theory, 57(1), 1-22. Burt, R.S. (1992). Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Dale, R. (2007). Specifying Globalisation Effects on National Policy: A Focus on the Mechanisms, in B. Lingard & J. Ozga (Eds) The Routledge Falmer Reader in Education Policy and Politics, pp. 48-65. London: Routledge. Heilbron, J. (2014b). European Social Science as a Transnational Field of Research, in S. Koniordos & A-A. Kyrtsis (Eds) Routledge Handbook of European Sociology, pp. 67-79. London: SAGE. Hollstein, B., Matiaske, W., Schnapp, K-U (Eds) (2017). Networked Governance. New Research Perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer. Kastrinos, N. (2010). Policies for Coordination in the European Research Area: a view from the social sciences and humanities, Science and Public Policy, 4(1), 297-310. Lazega, E., Jourda, M-T., Mounier, L. & Stofer, R. (2008). Catching up with big fish in the big pond? Multi-level Network Analysis through Linked Design, Social Networks, 30, 159-176. Lingard, B. & Rawolle, S. (2011). New Scalar Politics: Implications for Education Policy, Comparative Education, 47(4), 489-502. Peter, V., Leon, L.R., Cadiou, Y. & Doussineau, M. (2010). Evaluation of the Impact of Framework Programme supported Social Sciences and Humanities Research. A Bibliometric Approach. Luxembourg: POEU. Powell, J.J.W., Baker, D.P. & Fernandez, F. (Eds) (2017). The Century of Science: The Global Triumph of the Research University (International Perspectives on Education & Society, volume 33). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing. Shi, F., Foster, J.G., & Evans, J.A. (2015) Weaving the Fabric of Science: Dynamic Network Models of Science’s Unfolding Structure, Social Networks, 43, 73-85. Shields, R.A. (2015). Following the Leader? Network Models of “world-class” Universities on Twitter, Higher Education, 71(2), 253-268. Siciliano, M.D., Welch, E.W. & Feeney, M.K. (2018). Network Exploration and Exploitation: Professional Network Churn and Scientific Production, Social Networks, 52, 167-179. Viseu, S. (2017). How Do Educational Researchers Organize their Work? A Social Network Analysis on Co-authorship Relations, SAGE Research Methods Cases. Watson, J., et al. (2010). Evaluation of the Impact of the Framework Programme on the formation of the ERA in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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