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Change and Continuity in Higher Education Governance? Lessons drawn from Twenty years of National Reforms in European Countries

Abstract : Determining whether change does or does not prevail over continuity is a classical question in sociology and political science. Higher education studies do not escape this recurrent questioning. In particular one can wonder how much change should be documented, what factors or dimensions should have been affected by change, which characteristics should change processes bear, for an analyst to be allowed to state that change indeed occurred. No simple answer can be given to these questions. Furthermore, depending on the focus chosen by the researcher – actors versus structures, micro versus meso or macro levels, local versus national perspectives, long term versus short term perspectives, individual versus institutional settings, norms versus practices, etc. – the balance between change and continuity may be differently assessed. A further difficulty results from the fact that change is not always radical and provoked by identified reforms but may also be incremental (Lindblom, 1959) when successive limited moves produce fairly profound change in the long run. [first paragraph]
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Christine Musselin. Change and Continuity in Higher Education Governance? Lessons drawn from Twenty years of National Reforms in European Countries. Ivan Bleiklie; Mary Henkel. Governing Knowledge. A Study of Continuity and Change in Higher Education - A Festschrift in Honour of Maurice Kogan, Springer, pp.65 - 80, 2005. ⟨hal-03114737⟩

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