Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe

Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe

New Constellations in European Research and Higher Education Governance

New Horizons in European Politics series

Edited by Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka

Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe investigates the integration of emerging knowledge policy domains on the European political agenda, and the dynamics of this in relation to knowledge policies. Professors Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka bring together leading experts who address the two central pillars of the ‘Europe of Knowledge’, research and higher education, to reveal the vertical, horizontal and sequential tensions in European knowledge governance

Chapter 1: Building a European knowledge area: an introduction to the dynamics of policy domains on the rise

Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka

Subjects: education, education policy, management and universities, innovation and technology, knowledge management, politics and public policy, education policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, education policy


A careful look at the history of European integration reveals that the knowledge domain has always been present: the founding fathers had visions of common European knowledge institutions (Corbett 2005), ideas about creating a common scientific area have been simmering for decades, and elements of science and technology cooperation were visible already at the very start (De Elera 2006). However, policies and programmes concerning education, students, teaching, learning, schools, colleges and universities, as well as research, research institutes and centres, academics and scientists have in general been at the political margins of the European integration process. Developments since the turn of the century have changed this situation dramatically and demonstrate how institutions and organizational capacity being created in this domain are ratcheting up European cooperation and intensifying the interaction between governance levels. A European 'knowledge policy area' is emerging that is radically different in key aspects from the traditional ways in which (higher) education and science policy issues were handled. How can this new 'knowledge policy area' be interpreted and how can we account for the changes underlying its emergence? In this volume, we show how European integration in these areas did not happen as a steady consensual process of functional adaptation, a consequence of irreversible lock-in effects, nor as a process of rational design and exercise of predetermined political will.