Complexity in higher education politics: bifurcations, choices and irreversibility

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Kauko , J 2014 , ' Complexity in higher education politics: bifurcations, choices and irreversibility ' , Studies in Higher Education , vol. 39 , no. 9 , pp. 1683-1699 . https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.801435

Title: Complexity in higher education politics: bifurcations, choices and irreversibility
Author: Kauko, Jaakko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Behavioural Sciences
Date: 2014
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Studies in Higher Education
ISSN: 0307-5079
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/154437
Abstract: Taking complexity as an epistemic starting point, this article enhances understanding of dynamics in higher education. It also reviews the relevant literature on path dependency, complexity research, and studies of political change and contingency. These ideas are further developed with reference to the political situation and political possibilities as concepts. It is claimed that the key issues in understanding irreversibility on a system level are institutional change and politicisation. It is deduced from two case studies in the Finnish context that founding new institutions created bifurcations in both. Then again, the politicisation for disbanding existing institutions has proved rather futile. The key findings are that the choices in higher education politics increase the complexity of the system, and that many of the choices made are irreversible for reasons to do with contingency.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
Politics of education
517 Political science
Contingency
Bifurcation
institutional change
dynamics
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