Field Structuration and Fragmentation of Global Rankings

  • Tero Erkkilä
  • Ossi Piironen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)


In this chapter, we look closely at the fragmentation of rankings and indicators relevant to knowledge governance in higher education, economic competitiveness, innovation, and good governance that has challenged the established producers of numeric knowledge. Not only have the amount of international datasets multiplied, but the varieties of measurement—concerning conceptual and methodological decisions—have also increased. We find that the process of fragmentation has not effectively challenged the ideas behind the figures. Instead, the emerging indicator sets are woven into the fabric of the existing measurements as the figures that enter the field largely build on the existing ones without fundamentally challenging their ideational premises. This further embeds the use of numerical assessment in transnational governance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tero Erkkilä
    • 1
  • Ossi Piironen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Ministry for Foreign Affairs of FinlandHelsinkiFinland

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