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The Perceived Impact of Eight Systemic Factors on Scientific Capital Accumulation

  • Olivier Bégin-CaouetteEmail author


In the global academic capitalist race, academics, institutions and countries’ symbolic power results from the accumulation of scientific capital. This paper relies on the perspectives of system actors located at the institutional, national and international levels to assess the perceived importance of eight systemic factors in contributing to the comparative advantage of social-democratic regimes, namely Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A deductive thematic analysis performed on 56 transcripts and a one-way repeated-measure ANOVA (and pairwise post-hoc t-tests) performed on 324 questionnaires confirmed the hypotheses regarding the positive influence of academic traditions and internationalization. This study contributes to the development of a varieties of academic capitalism (VoAC) approach to apprehend how political-economies condition higher education systems’ (HES) comparative advantage.


Varieties of academic capitalism Social-democratic regimes Nordic higher education systems Scientific capital Mixed-methods 



Funding was provided by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant No. 756-2016-0184).

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche sur l’enseignement supérieur (LIRES)Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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