Public policy and social science training in Israel: The impact of structural change on the constitution of knowledge

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Abstract

Recent reforms instituted In the network of higher education in Israel have focused on two elements: adjusting the managerial structure of the universities to make it more amenable to market criteria of efficiency and reducing the proportional weight of state funding to the universities compared to that allotted to the technical and professional colleges. The main elements of this process-increasing power of managers in academic institutions, shifting universities toward entrepreneurialism, the idea of the "service university," and the "massification" of the system of higher education-are characteristic of similar changes in higher education in the U.K., the U.S.A., Canada, and Australia. This article examines the impact of organizational and structural changes on the categories of knowledge produced, and by extension on the production of knowledge itself. By examining changes in the organization of higher education in Israel and in particular in the social sciences, the article suggests that institutional and academic diversification have influenced the categorization of legitimate knowledge pertaining to society, the economy, and the political arena-the traditional terrain of the social sciences-and hence what is considered "knowledge worth knowing" about these subjects. Finally, the article points to certain political interests that have motivated this change, and examines their larger impact upon Israeli society.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)59-78
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice
Volume5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • higher education
  • market criteria
  • policy
  • political interests
  • production of knowledge
  • social sciences

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