It is a common understanding that the historical steering function of the nation state has been challenged by other coordination modes. Scholarly debate has highlighted the blurring boundaries of the sovereign state along three dimensions relating to society, sub-national units and international arenas. Such shifts in the tasks of the state have been primarily explained by the retreat of the welfare state, by the increasing relevance of supranational entities such as the European Union (EU) and by globalization forces engendering growing inter-dependencies out of the control of sovereign states (Hooghe and Marks, 2003; Piattoni, 2010; Scharpf, 1997). Additionally, in order to legitimize policies in democratic settings, states have increasingly involved a growing number of disparate stakeholders in policy processes. This can also be seen in higher education: reforms have granted institutional autonomy to universities, signalling changes in the division of competencies and distribution of responsibilities between governments and higher education institutions; public-private partnerships have been enhanced to increase societal relevance and socio-economic development at both national and regional levels. And the increasing role of Europe — in particular, the construction of the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area — has added an additional governance level to higher education.


High Education European Union High Education Institution Sovereign State High Education Research 


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