Knowledge Alchemy

Models and Agency in Global Knowledge Governance

Introducing the concept of ‘knowledge alchemy’ as the formulation of global standards through the use of indicators and algorithms, this book explores how knowledge alchemy increasingly informs national and institutional policies and practices on economic performance, higher education, research and innovation.

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This book introduces the concept of ‘knowledge alchemy’ to capture the generic process of transforming mundane practices and policies of governance into competitive ones following imagined global gold standards. Using examples from North America, Europe and Asia, it explores how knowledge alchemy increasingly informs national and institutional policies and practices on economic performance, higher education, research and innovation.

The book examines how governments around the world have embraced global models of world-class university, human capital and talent competition as essential in ensuring national competitiveness. Through its analysis, the book shows how this strongly future-oriented and anticipatory knowledge governance is steered by a surge of global classifications, rankings and indicators, resulting in numerous comparisons of various domains that today form more constraining global policy scripts.

Tero Erkkilä is Professor of Political Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Meng-Hsuan Chou is Associate Professor and Provost’s Chair in Public Policy and Global Affairs at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Niilo Kauppi is CNRS Research Professor at the University of Strasbourg, France.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.