Hidden in Plain Sight: The Impact of Generic Governance on the Emergence of Research Fields

  • Jochen GläserEmail author
  • Grit Laudel
  • Eric Lettkemann
Part of the Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook book series (SOSC, volume 29)


National science policies for emerging fields and science studies investigating them tend to focus on the select few fields that are sufficiently distinct to become a target of interest. This focus tends to exclude from scrutiny the earliest stages of emergence as well as general background conditions produced by generic governance. The aim of our paper is to contribute to the exploration of the local configuration of new research fields by answering the question how generic governance structures and processes affect the earliest developmental stages of new fields, namely the emergence and early diffusion of new research practices. We use a comparative study of the diffusion of a new research practice – the experimental realisation of Βose-Einstein condensation in Germany and the Netherlands – for an exploration of how national systems of governance shape the opportunities for researchers to change their research practices and to begin new lines of research.


Generic governance Authority relations Protected space Scientific communities Research funding structures Funding agencies Experimental physics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Technology and Society, HBS 1Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, FH 9-1Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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