This chapter unpacks the executive governance of the EU’s involvement in science. It revisits three claims about how policy is shaped and implemented: executive governance of European science as particularly technocratic (policy making takes place insulated from political steer); as segmented (policy making conducted within ‘sector-silos’); and as path dependent (institutionalisation of one type of supranational policy approach impedes change and further coordination of EU member states’ policies). Analysis of EU research policy since the turn of the millennium shows that these characteristics are in part still prevalent and can be explained with reference to the organizational structures and sector-specific cultures in EU research policy as well as characteristics of research as a policy area. Yet, in the 2000s political attention has increased, executive path dependency has implied both stability and enabled policy change, and segmentation has been challenged by strong calls for coordination within and between sectors.
Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka
New Constellations in European Research and Higher Education Governance
Edited by Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka
Morten Egeberg, Åse Gornitzka and Jarle Trondal
The argument outlined in this chapter is that organizational factors (independent variables) might intervene in governance processes (dependent variables) and create a systematic bias, thus making some process characteristics and outputs more likely than others. It is argued that applying organizational theory to governance may be useful in at least two respects. First, it may add new knowledge on how different governance architectures shape governance. Second, it may also add practical value for change. If organizational variables are shown to affect governance processes in particular ways—as suggested in the chapter—these variables may subsequently be “manipulated” to achieve desired goals. In this way, theoretically informed empirical research may serve as an instrumental device. By using governance as dependent variable, the chapter discusses the following organizational variables as independent variables: organizational capacity, organizational specialization, organizational affiliation and organizational coupling. Further, by using organizational structure as dependent variable, four complementary approaches have been introduced to explain organizational change: instrumental problem solving, conflict and bargaining, rule following and learning, and diffusion.