"Det ska ju vara lite äventyr" - styrning av svensk forskarutbildning utifrån reformen 1998
This thesis focuses on a politically initiated change of academia, that is, the 1998 reform of Swedish graduate studies and how the reform influenced the organization of the education/programs. The aim of the thesis is twofold. First it aims to study how the political governing of graduate studies has been carried out in the reform. Second it aims to study how the political governing of graduate studies has been translated or adapted to local activities on the department level. The thesis investigates how governing is understood by the people who are responsible for graduate studies at eight departments at Gothenburg University. It also goes more deeply into studying one of the reform’s measures or governing techniques, that is, the intensification of the use of individual study plans and how this has been translated into practice. The theoretical framework uses a Governmentality perspective that focuses on different types of governing and exercise of power. I have also chosen to use Bruno Latour’s concept of “translation” in the analysis to show what happens with the reform on a local level. The reform can be seen as the Government’s programme for change. Here, graduate studies are first problematized, and the Government then presents new techniques of rule as solutions to the problems. The proposed changes are thereby legitimized. The techniques of rule that are used are both concrete and more indirect or disciplinary in their character. The reform creates a new regime of government for graduate studies at the same time as the graduate programs’ regimes of practices are left more or less untouched. The analysis shows that those people responsible for graduate studies have an ambivalent attitude toward the political governing. In some areas they seek more regulation or structure, in others they want less. In the same sense they express ambivalence towards the use of the individual study plans. The thesis also shows how traditional academic norms meet and sometimes collide with new ideals. The analysis reveals several paradoxes or goal conflicts that have emerged in the framework of graduate studies.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Other social sciences
Date of Publication:01/01/2010