Between the global and the national: Organising European science
Change in policy and organisation is often presented as solely the outcome of a combination of social and political processes. Furthermore, these processes are, somewhat misguidedly it is argued here, presented as explanations or ‘reasons’ rather than historically specific social mechanism through which core tensions are resolved. In counter-distinction, this paper seeks to explore both the generative mechanisms and the specific social conditions behind the process of science organisation building at European level. Extending the organisation of science to the European level, it is argued, results from continuous attempts to alleviate the tension between inherently global research fields and largely localised research spaces by extending the latter. How this tension is resolved is historically specific and depends on the combination of three sets of social conditions. Intellectually, this paper draws on, and contributes to, the fields of sociology of science, science and innovation studies and political science. Empirically, the discussion is informed by interviews, secondary data analysis and the analysis of the publications trail relating to the debate about the ERC between 2002 and 2004.
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