About the project

The UNIGOV project focuses on the role of transnational and national intermediary organizations in the governance and regulation of an increasingly global university field. Our aim is to systematically analyse the role of such intermediaries in their position to bridge institutional and organizational borders. In focus are the processes through which global ideas on the function and position of the university in society are circulated by transnational intermediaries; picked up and adopted by intermediaries in the national systems; and on the journey are adjusted and translated to fit the institutional specificities of these systems.

Our theoretical framework combines new institutional organization theory with a strategic action field approach. The empirical study has an integrated multi- method design combining: cluster analysis and database construction using an innovative webcrawling technique; semantic network analysis; qualitative in- depth comparative case studies (in Sweden and Austria). By analysing the role of intermediary organizations as a link between transnationally circulated ideas on the function and position of the university and the domestic university systems, we will contribute new knowledge on the core conditions for shaping, organizing and governing research and higher education in society, today and tomorrow.