The Emergence of the European Research Council As Supranational Funding Institution

Friday, July 18, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: Booth 49
Oral Presentation
Barbara HOENIG , Innsbruck University, Austria
Structural transformations in the European Union's funding policy of the last decades have led to the historical emergence of a genuinely supranational funding institution, the European Research Council (ERC). Conceptually oriented towards an institutional approach of the sociology of science, and methodically led by extensive documentary analyses, we empirically analyze historical evidence for the opportunity structure, social mechanisms and effects of European research funding as part of the history of the ERC as an institution. Analytically, we draw a distinction between the following levels of investigation: Firstly, the structural relationship of national and supranational dimensions of the European research policy is located at the heart of a historical interest in Europeanization processes in science. While the ERC as supranational organization can be seen as intermediate in relation to the European Commission and the international scientific community, the transnational organization structurally builds on and reflects historical predecessors at level of national science systems as well. Secondly, we try to clarify in which way we deal with integration or rather disintegrative stratification of European research, reflected in cultural objectives of funding programs such as "transnational cooperation" and "scientific excellence", and researchers' socially structured opportunities, ambiguities, and potential conflicts to realize these objectives. Thirdly, seen from a dynamic perspective, we investigate how and to what extent European funding policy's goals have historically changed and been subject to self-perpetuating processes with unintended effects feeding back towards the social structure of European, and global, science as well.