Going Global In Academia: International Ranking Systems and Their Implication for Economic Research Variety

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There is nowadays a growing sense of unease about the current state and the direction of financial academic research. A number of critical studies have highlighted the failure of academia in anticipating the recent financial crisis and criticizing economic models used by financial market practitioners. Too much intellectual inquiry has operated within the parameters set by academic practice rather than questioning and challenging them. This paper argues that the current state of research is strictly linked to the adoption of international journal ranking lists as university management tools, which has led to a hegemony of the U.S. elite in research. Affected by a genuine ethnocentrism, U.S. research is very much capital market-oriented and optimized for liberal stock market economies, while completely ignoring different approaches and critical studies. The strength of economics and, more generally, social sciences instead lies in their rich, reflexive research analyses, carried out within their specific contexts, so essential to the social and economic advancement of society. Knowledge would therefore be better served by alternative research agendas tailored to the needs of different forms of capitalism. It is at times of great uncertainty and changes, such as the ones in which we are living, that advantages of variety in research can be appreciated. According to this view, this paper focuses on the European Union and presents a view of research that is strongly embedded in the EU constitutional framework and its ideal of social market economy.
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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
Academic Research; Journal Ratings; Varieties of Capitalism; European Union
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