22 SES 10 A, International Academic Collaboration In The Era Of Networks
Collaboration is commonly presented as being part of the essence of the academic culture along with peer reviewing and collegiality. Together these three notions form a universally accepted definition of the idea of gratuity supposedly governing the freely consented relations among peers within the academia. However, recent changes in the mode of production of knowledge and in academic governance, are said to have shaken those very foundations of the collaborative ideal by transforming it into an externally-driven imperative. Research policies and new models of public funding adopted by national and transnational agencies have largely contributed to reshaping the patterns and pace of collaboration, often making it a essential requirement for funding. Examining the ways in which academics react to these injunctions and pressure to collaborate, and considering the extent to which these responses are potentially challenging or threatening the archetypal images of collaboration prevailing in the profession is the objective of this presentation. Based on preliminary findings from an on-going project, investigating the practice and conceptions of collaboration among leading European social scientists, the paper will seek to explore the ways in which academics reconceptualise and re-engineer the policy imperative to align it with their conceptions of the academic profession.
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