Organizations, Regulation and Rankings
Chapter 2: World Models of University Governance
INTRODUCTION Since the demise of Soviet communism and the Cold War at the end of the 1980s, a feature of new governance structures in state policymaking around the world in the context of global competition is the predominance of economic models and their influence within policy discourse (Hay 2004; Kay 2008). Notions of free trade, open markets, and well-trained and flexible employees are normalized as necessary for material prosperity and democratic governance (Peck 2001). A key assumption in such thinking is that markets are the most efficient allocator of resources across a range of domains, through the operation of the price mechanism particularly and its reflection of myriads of individual preferences for the supply of goods and services (in comparison particularly with failed welfare and socialist states that sought to allocate by bureaucratic administration). In this model public intervention is justified primarily (and minimally) to offset market failure in cases where public and private costs/rewards are out of alignment, where insufficient information for citizens obtains for rational decisionmaking to take place without further state-encouraged disclosures on matters such as product quality and performance, to supply huge public goods that are not produced by private markets alone, such as a system of national defence, and to break up monopolies and promote competition. As we shall see, universities also have become subject to such processes in their governing and regulatory arrangements. Such propositions form part of so-called public choice theory, which suggests that governments rather than markets create inefficiencies. That is, the...
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