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The Internationalisation of Economics and Business Studies: Import of Excellence, Cosmopolitan Capital, or American Dominance?

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»Internationalisierung der Volks- und Betriebswirtschaftslehre: Exzellenzimport, kosmopolitisches Kapital oder amerikanische Dominanz?«. In recent times internationality has become an indicator for scientific excellence arguing that it will create talent, diversity, and inspiration. But what does “internationality” really stand for in science? In order to answer this question we study two of the most hierarchized and internationalised disciplines – economics and business studies – in one of the most internationalised academic labour markets – Switzerland. Based on a historical database of 411 (full and associate) university professors of economics and business studies at three benchmarks (1957, 1980, and 2000), we investigate the evolution of internationality during the second part of the 20th century, and its link to scientific prestige and recognition. For both disciplines we find an increase in foreign professors and internationalisation of Swiss professors due to doctorial and postdoctoral phases spent in the US and other shorter stays abroad. This development can first be observed in economics, but business studies have managed to “catch up.” Using three negative binomial regression models we show that Switzerland imports excellence among professors and that high scientific prestige is linked to stays abroad, especially in the dominant US fields of economics and business studies.
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Historical Social Research
Historische Sozialforschung
Thierry Rossier & Felix Bühlmann
:
The Internationalisation of Economics and Business Studies: Import
of Excellence, Cosmopolitan Capital, or American Dominance?
doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.189-215.
Cite as:
Thierry Rossier and Felix Bühlmann. 2018. The Internationalisation of Economics and
Business Studies: Import of Excellence, Cosmopolitan Capital, or American Dominance?
Historical Social Research 43 (3): 189-215. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.189-215.
For further information on our journal, including tables of contents, article abstracts,
and our extensive online archive, please visit http://www.gesis.org/en/hsr.
Published in:
Historical Social Research 43 (2018) 3
Historical Social Research
Historische Sozialforschung
All articles published in HSR Special Issue 43 (2018) 3:
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For further information on our journal, including tables of contents, article abstracts,
and our extensive online archive, please visit http://www.gesis.org/en/hsr.
Historical Social Research
Historische Sozialforschung
... Elite studies (Graf 2015;Hartmann 2006) analyse how hierarchical top positions in academia are distributed amongst actors with a privileged social background. Academic worlds are constituted by horizontal and vertical differentiation of the academic social space along 'winner' and 'looser', 'secular' and 'spiritual' poles (Rossier and Bühlmann 2018;Schmidt-Wellenburg 2018). Accordingly, social 'size' results from unequal distribution of academic power positions and the main driver are socio-structural advantages such as upper-middle class background and male gender (Christiane and Jungbauer-Gans 2007). ...
... (3) safe-way, 2-3-star, B construction of exclusively recognised academic positions with high reputation. Thus, the construction of symbolic visibility through career trajectories implies a double selectionfor and within academialeading to the formation of a very specific group of academics (Maesse 2017;Rossier and Bühlmann 2018). ...
... These fields are hierarchically organised, as Bourdieu would claim, but they are at the same time open to other fields and in constant exchange with them. Networks and institutions usually fix these fields of economic expert action (Pühringer & Hirte, 2015;Rossier & Bühlmann, 2018). There is no single field logic, but each empirical field can be fixed in different ways. ...
... Symbolic capital is an important category in Bourdieu's sociology because it introduces a form of hierarchisation in the field that is not based on typical forms of exclusion, such as economic, cultural and social capital. It is important because this form of power is always misrecognised by actors involved in the production of symbolic capital (Rossier & Bühlmann, 2018). The "Nobel Prize Award" is a classic example (Lebaron, 2006). ...
... The social studies of economics developed research designs that are particularly suitable for analysing such heterogeneous socio-discursive phenomena (Maesse et al. 2021). These designs include historical document studies for analysing the emergence of ideas, theories and methods (Morgan, 1990), social network analysis (Plehwe et al., 2007;Pühringer & Griesser, 2020) for the study of powerful paradigms and conflicts over economic policies, discourse studies for understanding argumentation patterns, position-taking and framing processes (Fitzgerald & O'Rourke, 2015;Maesse, 2015b;Pühringer & Hirte, 2015) and field analysis for the analysis of social positions (Lebaron, 2001;Rossier & Bühlmann, 2018;Schmidt-Wellenburg, 2017b). ...
Article
This paper analyses the transformation of identities and institutions of economic experts as politico-economic professionals brought about by the Brexit process between 2016 and 2020. In order to understand the transformation from order to chaos in times of COVID-19, a mixed methods approach is applied. In a first step, a discourse analysis of two competing letters from two different groups of economists is carried out. One letter was published by “Economists for Remain” before the Brexit referendum in 2016; the other letter was published by a group called “Economists for Free Trade”, arguing for leaving the EU. In a second step, we conduct a field and social space analysis of economists who signed the letters in order to analyse their social backgrounds and professional positions within the UK academic, media, political and economic system. The paper shows that members of both groups take significantly different positions. In a final step, we conducted interviews in 2019/20 with selected members of each group. Here we show how the professional system of UK economic governmentality enters a state of crisis. The paper finally argues that contemporary nationalist movements cannot provide a new social order. They lead societies into chaos instead.
... International capital relates to the symbolic value attached to the experience acquired abroad, both professionally and linguistically. Not all places are equal as some, like the Anglo-Saxon countries, benefit from a higher symbolic credibility (Bühlmann, 2020;Bühlmann et al., 2013;Rossier and Bühlmann, 2018;Wagner, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on (inter)disciplinary collaborations through the co-application to research projects funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the main provider of research funding in Switzerland. We suggest that interdisciplinarity is a potential mode of distinction and that its frequency and the disciplines involved may be associated with specific configurations of scientific, institutional, international, extra-academic, and network resources. We rely on biographical data on all biology and chemistry professors in Switzerland in 2000 (n = 342), including all their funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation. In a first step, we highlight the role of the resources mentioned previously in structuring the symbolic hierarchy of disciplines using multiple correspondence analysis. In a second step, we look at how interdisciplinarity fits into these structures based on an opposition between international and institutional resources and on the unequal distribution of scientific (and social) capital. We show that these interdisciplinary logics of social distinction differ across the two disciplines. On the one hand, collaborations with biologists seem to help chemists reaching dominant positions in the academic field, while their degree of internationality is associated with interdisciplinary collaborations. On the other hand, the biologists who are the most endowed with symbolic capital are more likely to collaborate with the medical sciences.
... Consequently, international capital, understood as resources linked with the "familiarity" with more than one country (Bühlmann, 2020;Wagner 2020), follows the hierarchization of national fields. Acquired through the participation in central institutions from Western academic spaces, foreign credentials and connections have become powerful assets that reinforce scientific prestige in many national contexts (Rossier & Bühlmann 2018). Their accumulation also plays a significant role in the reproduction of state elites, notably in the Global South (Dezalay & Garth 2002, 2006. ...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Extended abstract submission (1,000 words + bibliography): November 15th, 2021 Notification of acceptance: December 21st, 2021 Preliminary paper submission (ca. 3,000 words + bibliography) to be discussed during an online workshop by the guest editors and the other contributors to the special issue: April 2022 Full paper submission: August 31st, 2022 Publication of the issue: First semester 2023 Guest Editors: Pierre Benz (University of Lausanne, Institute of Political Studies) Johanna Gautier Morin (European University Institute, Department of History and Civilization) Elisa Klüger (Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning, CEBRAP) Thierry Rossier (London School of Economics, Department of Sociology)
... Cette croissance n'est d'ailleurs pas exceptionnelle et s'inscrit dans une tendance générale à l'internationalisation des nationalités des élites en Suisse. La part des professeurs de sciences économiques qui sont étrangers passe d'environ 30% en 1957 à 35% en 1980, puis 50% en 2000 (Rossier & Bühlmann 2018). De manière générale, le champ académique suisse connaît un premier mouvement d'internationalisation au début du XX e siècle, puis une nationalisation suite à la Première Guerre mondiale et, enfin, une réinternationalisation à partir des années 1980 (Rossier et al. 2015). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Cette thèse porte sur les élites académiques de la biologie et de la chimie en Suisse au XXe siècle. Elle a été menée dans le cadre du projet FNS «Academic Elites in Switzerland: between Autonomy and Power» (2013-2017) et s’appuie largement sur les données prosopographiques de la base «Elites suisses au XXe siècle»exploitée dans le cadre du projet. La thèse propose un focus sur l’évolution de la hiérarchie des disciplines au travers des profils, des carrières et des réseaux des professeurs sur cinq cohortes (1910, 1937, 1957, 1980 et 2000) qui structurent les espaces de la biologie et de la chimie. Définis comme des élites académiques, les professeurs ordinaires et extraordinaires occupent les positions les plus élevées de la hiérarchie des postes académiques. Au sein du champ académique, les individus sont dotés de diverses ressources scientifiques,mais aussi institutionnelles, internationales et extra-académiques, dont l’importance relative détermine le degré d’autonomie du champ, une autonomie relative et changeante qui sert de cadre à l’activité scientifique et rend possibles certaines transformations de la hiérarchie des disciplines. Cette thèse apporte un éclairage encore très peu exploité sur les développements de la chimie et de la biologie en Suisse au XXe siècle, entre dynamiques de différenciations institutionnelleset de rapprochements dans le domaine des sciences de la vie. Elle mobilise diverses méthodes de traitement des données prosopographiques, telles que l’analyse des correspondances multiples, l’analyse de séquences, l’analyse de réseaux et les modèles linéaires généralisés pour aborder quatre axes de questionnements: les reconfigurations institutionnelles des disciplines, l’évolution du profil des professeurs au regard de leur dotation différenciée en ressources spécifiques et l’analyse longitudinale des carrières professorales,les collaborations interdisciplinaires et le capital social issus des réseaux de co-requêtes de projets financés par le FNS et, enfin, les enjeux de l’adoption du modèle de l’université entrepreneuriale et son impact sur les carrières des professeurs entre académie et secteur privé. Elle s’attache ainsi, par un focus sur deux disciplines qui ont participé à transformer les sciences naturelles au XXe siècle, à explorer les conséquences de l’affirmation des sciences de la vie sur l’organisation des disciplines dans un contexte de transformation des modes de production du savoir.
... Here, economic expertise is seen as a tool for exercising power through hegemonic discourses in different social contexts, such as politics, the business world and the media (Schmidt-Wellenburg, 2018). Finally, a third form of discourse analytical perspective considers diverse forms of informal knowledge (Maesse, 2018;Rossier & Bühlmann, 2018). This knowledge accounts for informal social rules in organisations, tacit knowledge in professional fields, institutional norms and values of politics and academia, as well as the social networks that control access to certain institutions and regulate official and unofficial membership categories. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Economists occupy leading positions in many different sectors including central and private banks, multinational corporations, the state and the media, as well as serving as policy consultants on everything from health to the environment and security. Power and Influence of Economists explores the interconnected relationship between power, knowledge and influence which has led economics to be both a source and beneficiary of widespread power and influence. The contributors to this book explore the complex and diverse methods and channels that economists have used to exert and expand their influence from different disciplinary and national perspectives. Four different analytical views on the role of power and economics are taken: first, the role of economic expert discourses as power devices for the formation of influential expertise; second, the logics and modalities of governmentality that produce power/knowledge apparatuses between science and society; third, economists as involved in networks between academia, politics and the media; and forth, economics considered as a social field, including questions of legitimacy and unequal relations between economists based on the detention of various capitals. The volume includes case studies on a variety of national configurations of economics, such as the US, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Mexico and Brazil, as well as international spaces and organisations such as the IMF. This book provides innovative research perspectives for students and scholars of heterodox economics, cultural political economy, sociology of professions, network studies, and the social studies of power, discourse and knowledge.
... Here, economic expertise is seen as a tool for exercising power through hegemonic discourses in different social contexts, such as politics, the business world and the media (Schmidt-Wellenburg, 2018). Finally, a third form of discourse analytical perspective considers diverse forms of informal knowledge (Maesse, 2018;Rossier & Bühlmann, 2018). This knowledge accounts for informal social rules in organisations, tacit knowledge in professional fields, institutional norms and values of politics and academia, as well as the social networks that control access to certain institutions and regulate official and unofficial membership categories. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Economists often argue that economics is a “pure” and “autonomous” discipline. In contrast, the relatively dense institutional and interpersonal networks owned by economists show how the discipline stands at the edge of several social fields and thus can be particularly heteronomous. These networks provide a certain volume and form of social capital which strengthen the discipline, but also highlight its important porousness toward extra-academic powers. Very few studies have focused on the importance of social capital in fields and, to our knowledge, no research has systematically investigated the role of intra-disciplinary and extra-disciplinary social capital in economics. This chapter aims to focus on the structure and evolution of social capital in the Swiss field of economists. It relies on an original prosopographical database of all economics professors at Swiss universities between 1980 and 2000 (n=200). We exploit the data in two ways: First, through multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), we identify two structuring forces among economists. The main opposition is marked by the volume of extra-disciplinary social capital, and the volume of intra-disciplinarity capital only comes in a second place. Second, we show, through class-specific MCA, that, despite the fact that intra-disciplinary social capital gains in importance in the recent period, extra-disciplinary social capital remains the prime structuring logic across time. Although the particularly strong cohesion and autonomy that characterise the discipline, this chapter points out the importance of heteronomous networks, which attest that economics is and stays much less autonomous than economists would argue.
Book
Full-text available
Economists occupy leading positions in many different sectors including central and private banks, multinational corporations, the state and the media, as well as serving as policy consultants on everything from health to the environment and security. Power and Influence of Economists explores the interconnected relationship between power, knowledge and influence which has led economics to be both a source and beneficiary of widespread power and influence. The contributors to this book explore the complex and diverse methods and channels that economists have used to exert and expand their influence from different disciplinary and national perspectives. Four different analytical views on the role of power and economics are taken: first, the role of economic expert discourses as power devices for the formation of influential expertise; second, the logics and modalities of governmentality that produce power/knowledge apparatuses between science and society; third, economists as involved in networks between academia, politics and the media; and forth, economics considered as a social field, including questions of legitimacy and unequal relations between economists based on the detention of various capitals. The volume includes case studies on a variety of national configurations of economics, such as the US, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Mexico and Brazil, as well as international spaces and organisations such as the IMF. This book provides innovative research perspectives for students and scholars of heterodox economics, cultural political economy, sociology of professions, network studies, and the social studies of power, discourse and knowledge.
Thesis
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Résumé Cette thèse questionne l’affirmation et les transformations des sciences économiques (économie politique et gestion d’entreprise) en Suisse au XXe siècle. Nous utilisons une base de données biographiques sur cinq cohortes (1910, 1937, 1957, 1980, 2000) de professeurs d’université (N=561). Premièrement nous montrons que les sciences économiques s’affirment institutionnellement et disciplinairement dans l’académie. En particulier le capital académique (positions de recteurs) des professeurs de sciences économiques est le plus important parmi toutes les disciplines dans la période récente. Deuxièmement les professeurs de sciences économiques deviennent les professeurs les plus représentés parmi les élites économiques suisses (les grands patrons). Certains réalisent également des carrières parmi les élites politiques (les élus nationaux) et les élites administratives (les hauts fonctionnaires fédéraux). Nous observons une standardisation des carrières des professeurs entre deux types de profil : purement académique et partiellement extra-académique. Troisièmement nous montrons un processus de « nationalisation » des profils de professeurs après 1918 et de ré-internationalisation après 1945. Nous observons un déplacement d’une internationalité d’« excellence » scientifique des pays germanophones et francophones vers les USA. Finalement nous voyons que le capital scientifique (citations dans des revues prestigieuses) est lié au capital cosmopolite (internationalité) et opposé aux capitaux académique, économique et politique, plus nationaux. Quatrièmement cette opposition est confirmée par l’étude des interactions entre différents capitaux des professeurs. Nous identifions ainsi d’un côté un pôle scientifique et international et de l’autre un pôle « mondain », caractérisé par des capitaux nationaux, académiques, politiques et économiques. Le pôle scientifique utilise de plus en plus les mathématiques, et chacun des deux pôles a ses propres domaines de spécialisation. Nous observons que la dominance parmi les professeurs, outre l’usage de mathématiques et l’étude d’objets particuliers, se traduit également par une interdisciplinarité relativement soutenue, particulièrement avec les sciences « dures ». En conclusion nous affirmons que c’est par cette division du travail entre deux pôles de professeurs, ceux liés à la pratique scientifique et à l’excellence internationale, et ceux liés à l’administration des universités, des entreprises et de l’Etat, et par le renforcement historique de cette division, que les professeurs de sciences économiques sont « partout » et que la discipline a pu affirmer son pouvoir dans la société suisse. Summary This dissertation focuses on the “rise” and transformations of economic sciences (economics and business studies) in Switzerland over the 20th century. It relies on a biographical database divided into five benchmarks (1910, 1937, 1957, 1980, 2000) of university professors (N=561). First I show that economic sciences rise as a discipline and in the institutional hierarchy of academia. In particular in terms of academic capital (positions of vice chancellors) of the professors, the economic sciences have become the most important among all the disciplines in the recent period. Second professors of economic sciences have become the most represented professors among the Swiss economic elites (the CEOs of large corporations). Some also pursue careers among political elites (national elected officials) and administrative elites (federal high civil servants). I observe a standardization of the careers of professors between two types of profile: purely academic and partially extra-academic. Third I show a process of "nationalization" of professors’ profiles after 1918 and of re-internationalization after 1945. I observe a definitional shift of the internationality of scientific "excellence" from the German-speaking and French-speaking countries to the USA. Finally I notice that scientific capital (citations in prestigious journals) is linked to cosmopolitan capital (internationality) and opposed to more national academic, economic and political capitals. Fourth this opposition is confirmed by the study of the interactions between the different capitals of the professors. I identify on the one hand a scientific and international pole and on the other a “society” pole, characterized by national academic, political and economic capitals. The scientific pole increasingly uses mathematics, and each of the two poles has its own research areas. I observe that dominance among professors, besides the use of mathematics and the study of particular objects, is also reflected in a relatively sustained interdisciplinarity, particularly with the "hard" sciences. In conclusion I argue that it is by this division of labour between two poles of professors, those linked to scientific practice and international excellence, and those related to the administration of universities, corporations and the state, and by historically strengthening this division, that professors of economic sciences are "everywhere" and that the discipline has been able to reinforce its power in Swiss society.
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