Motsträviga myndigheter : Sektorsforskning och politisk styrning under 1980-talet

Detta är en avhandling från Linköping : Linköpings universitet

Sammanfattning: The object of study in this dissertation is the public organisation for steering and financing research in Sweden. The design of this organisation is a central issue concerning the relationship between politics and science. Should for example, research councils managed by representatives of the scientific community control the organisation? Or should political or other interest groups in society have a larger influence over the organisation through, for example, governmental agencies controlled by boards with representation from different interest groups?In Sweden the organisation of research steering and fimding from the 1950s onwards was characterised by growing sectorisation. Research was first and foremost seen as an instrument to achieve political goals,not a political area in itself. Most ministries had different sectorial agencies that handled research funding and established priorities in close relationships with sectorial interests. During the 1980s the Swedish Government developed a more co-ordinated research policy as a complement to the sectorial policy. One central objective of this policy was to reform the sectorial research funding agencies. The intention was toincrease the influence of the researchers in the process of assessing applications, and increase the number of longer term funding for the research groups.The purpose of this study is to analyse how this change in Swedish research policy was translated into changes in organisational structure and procedures at two of the sectorial research funding agencies, theSwedish Council for Building Research (BFR) and the Swedish National Board for Technical Development (STIJ). The intention of this study is both to make a contribution to the understanding of Swedish researchpolicy and to the theoretical discourse about the relationship between political steering and public administration in the process of administrative change, especially in the area of research policy. The investigation Is based on an historical institutional perspective on the process of administrative change.The study shows how institutional arrangements shaped the process of public administrative change. Firstly, networks connected to the agencies shaped the processes. The networks were important to gain support for different proposals. Secondly, the agencies also acted as representatives and defenders of different types of institutional forms of organising research steering. The agencies argued that the institutional logic they represented could not, in all respects, be combined with the institutional logic of the research council. However, the study also shows that existing administrative structures under certain circumstances can be bases for change and institutional innovation. Thirdly, the study shows that theresearch council model is a relatively stable institutional solution, based on established norms and an agreement between the state and scientific community that neither party seems to be finding it in their interest to leave.

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