Fostering Academic Excellence in Political Science: Insights from the European Research Council Grants

Fostering Academic Excellence in Political Science: Insights from the European Research Council Grants

By Rafał Szymanowski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

The discipline of political science in CEE countries1 has traveled a long way during the post-communist transition, having shifted—not unlike the famous Polanyi pendulum (2001)—from the political subordination to the state authorities to the increasing reliance on the market forces. The recent establishment of the grant system, with its inherent market-oriented logic in the CEE region, is arguably the primary gamechanger in the academic world since the early 1990s. It disrupted traditional norms and values as well as work patterns of the university community. The deeply entrenched set of customs regarding political science academic work—including the preference for single authorship instead of collaborative work, long monographs rather than journal articles, and locally oriented publications instead of internationally recognizable contributions—has been decimated by the grant system and third-party funding.

The recent establishment of the grant system, with its inherent market-oriented logic in the CEE region, is arguably the primary gamechanger in the academic world since the early 1990s.

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