Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)


This chapter presents the main arguments and the outline of the book. Higher education and innovation policies have become central aspects in national economic competitiveness and are increasingly measured by global rankings. We explore the dynamics of field development in global knowledge production, where new indicators emerge steadily. The book analyzes the evolution of global knowledge governance in prominent policy domains where rankings have been used: We observe the fragmentation of rankings and indicators in higher education, economic competitiveness, innovation, and good governance. This is caused by new indicator sets and actors entering the field of global ranking. However, the fragmentation of rankings has further deepened the field structuration of global ranking.


Knowledge Governance Global Ranking Economic Competitiveness National Knowledge Production Higher Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Desrosières, Alain. 1998. The Politics of Large Numbers: A History of Statistical Reasoning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. DiMaggio, Paul J., and Walter W. Powell. 1983. The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review 48 (2): 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Erkkilä, Tero. 2012. Government Transparency: Impacts and Unintended Consequences. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 2014. Global University Rankings, Transnational Policy Discourse and Higher Education in Europe. European Journal of Education 49 (1): 91–101. Scholar
  5. ———. 2016. Global Governance Indices as Policy Instruments: Actionability, Transparency and Comparative Policy Analysis. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 18 (4): 382–402. Scholar
  6. Erkkilä, Tero, and Ossi Piironen. 2009. Politics and Numbers. The Iron Cage of Governance Indices. In Ethics and Integrity of Public Administration: Concepts and Cases, ed. Raymond W. Cox III, 125–145. Armonk: ME Sharpe.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2013. Shifting Fundaments of European Higher Education Governance: Competition, Ranking, Autonomy and Accountability. Comparative Education, July, 1–15. doi:
  8. Giddens, Anthony. 1984. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  9. Haas, Peter M. 1992. Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination. International Organization 46 (1): 1–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hazelkorn, Ellen. 2011. Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education: The Battle for World-Class Excellence. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hobsbawm, Eric. 1987. Introduction: Inventing Traditions. In The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hopwood, Anthony G., and Peter Miller. 1994. Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kauppi, Niilo, and Tero Erkkilä. 2011. The Struggle over Global Higher Education: Actors, Institutions, and Practices. International Political Sociology 5 (3): 314–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Koselleck, Reinhart. 2004. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Liu, Nian Cai, and Liu Li. 2005. University Rankings in China. Higher Education in Europe 30 (2): 217–227. Scholar
  16. Löwenheim, Oded. 2008. Examining the State: A Foucauldian Perspective on International ‘Governance Indicators’. Third World Quarterly 29 (2): 255–274. Scholar
  17. Mahoney, James. 2003. Strategies of Causal Assessment in Comparative Historical Analysis. In Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences, ed. James Mahoney and Dietrich Rueschemeyer, 337–372. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meyer, John W., John Boli, George M. Thomas, and Francisco O. Ramirez. 1997. World Society and the Nation-State. The American Journal of Sociology 103 (1): 144–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Miller, Peter, and Nikolas Rose. 1990. Political Rationalities and Technologies of Government. In Texts, Contexts, Concepts. Studies on Politics and Power in Language, ed. Sakari Hänninen and Kari Palonen. Helsinki: The Finnish Political Science Association.Google Scholar
  20. Piironen, Ossi. 2012. The Transnational Idea of University Autonomy and the Reform of the Finnish Universities Act. Higher Education Policy 26 (1): 127–146. Scholar
  21. Porter, Theodore M. 1996. Trust in Numbers. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Reinalda, Bob. 2013. Global, Asian and European Backgrounds of Global University Rankings. In Global University Rankings. Challenges for European Higher Education, ed. Tero Erkkilä, 36–50. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rose, Nikolas. 1999. Powers of Freedom. Reframing Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rueschemeyer, Dietrich. 2003. Can One or a Few Cases Yield Gains? In Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences, ed. James Mahoney and Dietrich Rueschemeyer, 305–336. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sheehan, James J. 2006. The Problem of Sovereignty in European History. The American Historical Review 111 (1): 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Skinner, Quentin. 1969. Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas. History and Theory 8 (1): 3–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Vennesson, Pascal. 2008. Case Studies and Process Tracing: Theories and Practices. In Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences. A Pluralist Perspective, ed. Donatella Della Porta and Michael Keating, 223–239. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Weber, Max. 1978. Economy and Society. Vols. 1 and 2. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Ministry for Foreign Affairs of FinlandHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations