The 'Milky Way' of intermediary organizations: A transnational field of university governance
2015 (English)In: Policy and politics (Print), ISSN 0305-5736, E-ISSN 1470-8442, Vol. 43, no 3, 407-427 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article focuses on transnational intermediary organizations in higher education and research. We conceive of intermediaries as organizations that are actively involved in transnational university governance without having formal access to or control over policy or governmental funding. Such intermediary organizations have in previous research been shown to play central roles in the development and circulation of new themes and ideas for how to manage universities and measure university performance. Intermediaries link different types of actors and act as translators of global themes. In this respect, they are decisive in policy formulation. While the expansion of such transnational intermediaries is well documented in earlier research, we know little about who they are and how they interact. The article is the first to map transnational intermediaries concerned with higher education and research, as well as their linkages with each other. Through an original web-crawling technique, we identify a large number of transnational intermediaries that are actively linked to each other. These intermediaries exhibit a dense and stretched-out pattern with no obvious single center of gravitation. Instead, the field consists of several smaller and clearly distinguished constellations, resembling the structure of the Milky Way. Using these data, we advance two main arguments. First, transnational university intermediaries form an organized field of their own, vouching for their importance for the scaling up of governance networks and the development of collaborative governance arrangements. Second, within this field, there are several clusters where certain intermediaries occupy a more central position in the field than others. In all, this article contributes to the existing literature on governance networks, sketching the consequences of intensified global activities among intermediaries for how new themes and ideas about university management travel and translate, highlighting the significance of intermediary organizations for national university systems and individual universities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 43, no 3, 407-427 p.
intermediary organisations, university, transnational, governance
Research subject Political Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117660DOI: 10.1332/030557315X14362001847078ISI: 000359506700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-117660DiVA: diva2:815023