Steering universities’ research in and by networks

This study addresses the following research questions:


Do public authorities adopt new roles that give leeway or actively stimulate participation of different stakeholders in steering universities’ research? If so, how do actors build networks as multi-actor spaces and how do they modify the dynamics of problem shaping and policy-making?


Do the forms and locations of such networks influence goal attainment of the government?

In order to answer these questions, the shifts in policy agendas and interventions in the field of higher education and research in the Netherlands in the period since the 1980s will be explored. Starting from the assumption that public authorities and the academic profession within the nation-state traditionally are the strongest actors, the main question will be whether and under which constellations such network interactions create ‘win-loose’ or ‘win-win’ situations in terms of effectiveness and legitimacy.

Researchers involved: Jürgen Enders, Don Westerheijden and Adrie Dassen