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+ World Social Science Report Françoise Caillods WSSR Senior Managing Editor Heide Hackmann ISSC Secretary-General.

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Presentation on theme: "+ World Social Science Report Françoise Caillods WSSR Senior Managing Editor Heide Hackmann ISSC Secretary-General."— Presentation transcript:

1 + World Social Science Report Françoise Caillods WSSR Senior Managing Editor Heide Hackmann ISSC Secretary-General

2 + International Social Science Council 2 ISSC is an independent, non governmental organization; the primary international body representing the social, behavioural and economic sciences at the global level. ISSC key activities: World Social Science Forum World social Science Report World social science Fellows programme International programmes Social Science Policy Development

3 + Preparation of the 2010 WSSR First and only UNESCO Report on Social Sciences issued in 1999 UNESCO asked ISSC to prepare the 2010 Report. The focus : Knowledge Divides 3

4 + Objectives To provide a comprehensive review of the state of social sciences in the world; Analyze the dynamics of social sciences, their geography, and the institutional, material and social structures influencing their production and circulation; Analyze the various divides that reduce their ability to analyze trends in human societies and to effectively address global challenges. 4

5 + A small editorial team Françoise Caillods Laurent Jeanpierre Elise Demeulenaere; Mathieu Denis; Koen Jonkers; Edouard Morena Supported by the ISSC Secretariat and advised by an Editorial Board

6 + Editorial Board was made of 10 high level scholars from different regions and disciplines Craig Calhoun – Sociology – United States Christopher Colclough – Economics – Great Britain Adam Habib – Political Science – South Africa Laura Hernández-Guzman – Psychology – Mexico Huang Ping – Sociology – China Gudmund Hernes – Sociology – Norway (Chairman) Soheila Shahshahani – Anthropology – Iran Hebe Vessuri – Social Anthropology, Science Studies -Venezuela Peter Weingart – Science and Technology Studies – Germany Polymnia Zagefka – Development Studies – France/Greece Heide Hackmann, ISSC Secretary-General, Ex officio member of the Board. John Crowley, UNESCO observer

7 + Background In the past decades the environment of social sciences has changed profoundly. Economic and cultural globalization Globalization of some themes and public concerns Internationalization of social sciences Internationalization of higher education Pressure to reduce public expenditures Changes in the management and organization of social sciences New ICT have transformed the conditions of production and dissemination of research. These changes influence the functions, content, volume and quality of social sciences. 7

8 + Characteristics of the report The report presents a unique collection of information and insights on the institutional and organizational aspects of social sciences in different parts of the world. In preparing it, ISSC extensively mobilized the global social science community, as authors and reviewers. Some 80 articles have been written by authors from very different horizons and perspectives. Attention was paid to gender, regional and disciplinary background when giving a voice to researchers. The Report and its various authors made an effort at quantifying social science research (in the articles and statistical annex). 8

9 + Characteristics of the report Authors were chosen through a widely advertised call for papers; amongst speakers of the ISSC World Social Science Forum; through a literature review to identify specialized authors; a certain number of papers where commissioned. The report and the executive summary are available free on line on the WSSR website sciences/resources/reports/world-social-science-report Longer version of some articles will be placed on the web site. 9

10 + The context: Growth or crisis for the social sciences Social scientists contributed to shaping the world and XXth century history. Great thinkers like Smith, Marx, Keynes, Tocqueville, Freud continue to inspire present policies and debate. Many social science concepts have entered everyday language. Today social sciences are taught in most universities. The number of SS students and lecturers has increased quickly, faster than for all sciences. Acceleration in the number of books and articles produced in all languages. Publications are easily disseminated thanks to new ICT. Social science expertise is in high demand by policy-makers, the media and the general public. Social scientists are more mobile and collaborate more across countries and regions. More and more social scientists work in government administrations and private firms 10

11 + In spite of this success, social sciences are being criticized... Economists are blamed for not having foreseen the 2008 crisis and for giving contradictory advice on dealing with it; sociologists and political scientists are blamed for failing to identify major trends…or for being too critical of public action. Explosion of sub-fields and hyper-specialization: Social scientists are blamed for being too theoretical and too far away from burning social problems. 11 Growth or Crisis for the social sciences

12 + Relations between social scientists and policy-makers are complex and often tense. Social sciences are criticized for not providing clear answers to key issues of the day; for not being able to provide scientific knowledge in the face of current complexities. Some politicians and policy-makers consider social science a luxury. Social sciences are far from getting the same funding priority as other sciences… Few developing countries have a policy regarding social sciences. 12

13 + Yet, social sciences are indispensable To understand how humans behave, interact with each other and with the environment To bring clarity to our understanding of how individuals act, societies evolve and adapt to change To bring rational wisdom to economic, social, political and personal topics which used to be dealt with through personal beliefs, tradition or religion. To address global challenges such as poverty, AIDS, climate change, food crisis, lack of water….which require as much a change in behaviour as new discoveries in natural science. 13 However, tremendous inequalities in research capacities and knowledge fragmentation hamper the capacity of social sciences to contribute answers to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

14 + Knowledge Divides The report identifies numerous divides which limit the accumulation, transmission and use of knowledge. A geographical divide: institutional geography of social science Unequal capacities Uneven internationalization of knowledge The divide between mainstream research and alternative approaches The divisions between social science disciplines and between social sciences and the natural sciences The effect of competition resulting from new management methods: ranking, assessment and project funding The divisions and interaction between academics and society, and between academics and policy-makers. 14 These can be regrouped under two headings: disparities in research capacities and knowledge fragmentation.

15 + Unequal capacities Striking inequalities persist across regions, across countries and within countries in the volume, nature and quality of social science research carried out. Discrepancies are striking at : the individual level: in several countries researchers are not sufficiently and adequately trained; the organizational level: in the number of researchers, the level of funding, the type of infrastructure available -access to computers, libraries, books, international academic journals-, incentives to carry out research and to publish, the opportunities to share with peers; the institutional level (the research policy framework and the political context). 15

16 + Unequal capacities The precarious state of many of the SHS research centres [in Sub- Saharan Africa] is indicative of a more general trend in research and scholarship in many African countries – the deinstitutionalization of science (Mouton) Few, if any, articles [in highly ranked journals] are published by academics from Sub-Saharan African universities. This is the case even when the articles main topic directly relates to issues relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa (Mweru) South Africas domination in Sub-Saharan Africa is evident; the country produces about half of all output in the social sciences....Eight of the top ten and eleven of the thirty most productive universities are located there........ Yet only the top seventeen universities are able to produce an average of twenty papers per year in ISI journals( Mouton) The least well endowed universities [in South Africa], those that serve the poorest students, do not have access to quality academic journals base and are unable to deliver quality higher education (Habib) 16

17 + Unequal capacities 90 per cent of higher education institutions in the Latin American region are only engaged in teaching activities (Vessuri and Lopez) Barring some centres of excellence in India, social sciences are accorded low priority in the whole South Asian region (Krishna and Krishna ) In the Arab States authoritarian regimes tend to exercise strict control over the social sciences limiting freedom of thoughts and setting boundaries in terms of acceptable and unacceptable areas of research 17

18 + Inequalities in tertiary education spending 18 The biggest inequalities in social science performance largely result from differences in funding for higher education +

19 + Production in the social sciences by region (as measured by WoS journals) 19 + Source : Gingras and Mosbah Natanson

20 + Did internationalization of research reduce the capacity divide? World wide communication and collaborations should provide once-peripheral regions the opportunity to make contact with other research community The internationalization of knowledge has strengthened the existing big institutional players: North American and European universities and research centres, journals and bibliographical data bases. Publications in international peer reviewed journals remain overwhelmingly dominated by researchers from North America and Europe Research collaboration in the social sciences as represented by joint publications continues to be dominated by North America and Western Europe. Despite the increase in joint publications...peripheral regions have not become better integrated in the world social science system over the past two decades The dependence of other regions on the West, as measured by citations, has increased over the past 20 years … Europe and N America account for about three-quarters of the worlds SHS journals. 20

21 + Factors depleting capacities Brain drain Brain drain continues to deplete the research capacity of the poorest countries. It contributes to changing the world geography of social science capacities Brain drain starts with the migration of students who go and study abroad. Attracting and retaining foreign students has become a key element of the current international competition for human capital Some academic centres attract scholars on a regional scale (e.g. in South Africa) but western countries, primarily the USA, continue to attract most students and scholars One economics PhD out of three and almost one social science PhD out of five working in the US was born abroad. Unless working conditions in sending countries really change, no policy to improve return rates can be expected to have much impact. 21

22 + Factors depleting capacities Marketization of research Another factor that contributes to depleting research capacities is the marketization of research and the multiplication of consultancy firms doing short-term and applied research. Multiplication of non-state actors outside universities financed by a variety of funding sources It has contributed to giving some visibility and credibility to social science research It has also been detrimental to the quality of research and to institutional capacity Parallel to be made with think-tanks in developed countries? Restoring research capacities requires actions at individual, organizational and systemic level at the same time. 22

23 + Some emergent countries succeeded in building a research capacity thanks to a comprehensive, long- term and well-funded policy Total annual production of research papers in LA, China and India 1995-2007 23 +

24 + Project funding, ranking and bibliometrics Many of these management tools were meant to encourage researchers and institutions to increase their productivity and to foster excellence Unclear impact of project funding on capacities Similar unclear impact of ranking on capacities Bibliometrics is largely used in evaluation of institutions and programmes as well as in ranking. Doubts were expressed as to the adequacy of present bibliographical databases to measure output in social sciences: they do not adequately cover books and articles in non English-language journals. 24

25 + Project funding, ranking and bibliometrics Both project funding and ranking are here to stay and are likely to influence the university landscape; They require improvement in social science: e.g.multiplication of dimensions used for ranking. The number of databases and indexes should be increased to encompass a larger share of social science research. 25

26 + Knowledge fragmentation Recent evolution of disciplinary boundaries: explosion of field and sub-fields. Divisions between and within disciplines: on one side disciplines are essential to the renewal of knowledge and creativity of social scientists. On the other side, to fulfil their functions in the face of global challenges social sciences must become more inter- and trans- disciplinary. Social scientists are increasingly expected to cooperate among themselves and with natural scientists but many obstacles have yet to be overcome. 26

27 + Knowledge fragmentation Unequal size of disciplines? Unequal status? Weight of the disciplines in SSCI output 27 +

28 + Knowledge fragmentation Local and the global Internationalization changes the face of social sciences: global studies on global issues have grown. The internationalization of knowledge has confirmed the prevalence of ideas, knowledge tradition and norms of Western countries over others; the prevalence of English as the exclusive language of collaboration and dissemination. Research written in national languages and published in local books and journals is dominated by topics of local relevance. It remains largely invisible at international level. Researchers from peripheral regions are excluded from setting the agenda and defining issues of global relevance. 28 Social sciences need to become truly international Need for new ways of articulating global & local research Social sciences need to become truly international Need for new ways of articulating global & local research

29 + Local and the global Disciplines and language for authors originating from Maghreb in per cent, 1985-2004 29 +

30 + Directions for future actions The three levels of capacity need sustained attention (individual, organizational and systemic) Support regional networks as well as diasporic ones to promote the circulation of ideas Support access to international journals in social science; promote free and open access to peer- reviewed journals; encourage open archives Provide core funding alongside project funding and support long-term projects 30

31 + Directions for future actions Promote international digital databases essential for overcoming the knowledge divides Encourage inter- and transdisciplinary research and collaboration; analyze and address the various obstacles Monitor better social sciences at national level Develop national/regional bibliographical databases and indexes encompassing a larger share of social science research 31

32 + THANK YOU sciences/resources/reports/world-social-science-report

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