Second Revised Edition
Edited By Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler, Hans G. Schuetze and Andrä Wolter
Can Reform Policies Be Reformed?
An Analysis of the Evaluation of Academics in Mexico
And I was horrified at the thought
that things conceived in error
are just as real as things conceived
with good reason and of necessity.
Milan Kundera, The Joke
In this chapter, we will explore the empirical existence and the consequences of third-degree path dependency (PD) regarding the evaluation and remuneration of academic productivity. We will do so by comparing developments in the Mexican public university sector (subject to public policies) with developments in the private sector (not subject to public policies), and with developments in other countries. Our conjecture is that third-degree PD does exist in Mexican higher education policies. It is not, however, based only on historical reasons – factors that go back to the roots of the system and inevitably determine the action to the actors – but stems from peculiar visions held by central actors on how public universities could and should be reformed.
Our supposition is that the desired reforms have not occurred largely due to mistaken and avoidable decisions by policy makers. As a result, old organizational structures and practices persist. To confront new demands, old policies have been the model to follow and, instead of modifying ineffective policies, the answer has been to continue the already existing. The resulting policy regime explains the permanence of inefficiencies and errors, which benefit certain interest groups, but also limit the options for...
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