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Between Enlightenment and Disaster

Dimensions of the political Use of Knowledge


Edited By Linda Sangolt

Modern politics is highly science-dependent and knowledge-driven. What is the rightful role of expert knowledge in political life? How can the truth claims of science be reconciled with principles of democratic control and lay participatory rights in decision-making?
This collection of essays by political scientists, sociologists and economists from Germany, France and Norway provides different empirical and theoretical analyses of the complex organising and legitimising power of knowledge in political governance. The authors shed light on key dimensions and dilemmas that have shaped the world-changing interrelations between politics, social institutions and scientific knowledge in the past century.
The contributions cover issue-areas and policy-fields such as population control, health economics, ICTs and higher education reform, and the politics of productivity and economic pre-eminence.


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Information and CommunicationTechnologies (ICTs) and the Transformation of the University 149


Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the Transformation of the University Gunnar Guddal MICHELSEN Introduction The university has entered a phase of radical transformation charac- terised by new global issues and challenges that are affecting university systems all over the world. An example of great current interest is the Bologna process involving around 40 countries in Europe. The emer- gence of a global market for educational services is also putting pressure on the traditional university. A third factor involved in the current transformation process is the Internet revolution. While acknowledging the importance of political and economic forces in the current transfor- mation of the university, my focus of discussion is on the possible implications of the Internet revolution. How are the information and communication technologies (1CTs) involved in current changes in defining the status of knowledge, and, in the process, altering patterns of identity formation traditionally associated with the modern university? The basic structure and fundamental activities of the university re- volve around knowledge: its production through research, transfer and integration through education and cultivation of critical judgement, diffusion through publishing, and application through university out- reach. From this follows that changes concerning knowledge also have important implications for institutional organising and how the identity- forming function of the university is taken care of. This chapter ad- dresses the dramatic technological changes that are taking place, and some central questions as to how they are likely to affect the status of knowledge and the university as we know it. If...

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