Faded Grandeur: Disciplinary Differentiation, Interdisciplinarity and Renewal in the German Academic System

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 302)


The chapter traces the productivity of German, or European, science vis-à-vis US science: the early dominance of European science had been inverted. This has given rise to an ineffective European focus on performance-measurements, rankings, performance contracts or financial incentive schemes.

The analysis of the German university is linked to the humanities. Because of their standing, and because of their ties to an educated elite, a homology between humanities and the social stratum carrying it is postulated. After WWII, this homology was pushed to the fringes while a diversified disciplinary spectrum failed to develop. Various disciplines are forced to follow a doctrine “large is beautiful”. However, top-down reform efforts, initiated at European or national levels, remain ineffective; and higher education remains deficient as long as structural deficits are perpetuated.


Disciplinary Differentiation Cultural Science Excellence Initiative Social Closure Cognitive Closure 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sekretariat Lehrstuhl für Soziologie IIBambergGermany

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