Policy and power in Dutch higher education: two reconstruction projects

F.A. van Vught, D.F. Westerheijden

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    From the point of view of an explicit theory of decision making, two reconstruction projects in Dutch higher education are examined. These reconstruction projects have been studied before, and in this article a secondary analysis of two studies is performed. First, an exposition of the ‘theory of; political behaviour’ is given. Its key concept is (reputation for) power. Its first key proposition is that the behaviour of actors is geared to the acquisition of (a high reputation for) power; a hypothesis, to the effect that powerful actors are expected to be more successful in decision making, is the result of this section. Next, which actors are powerful in the Dutch system of higher education is considered, which also gives a background for the discussion of the two reconstruction projects in the last two sections. The (secondary) analyses of the reconstruction projects do not result in falsification of the hypothesis - although this conclusion is drawn with some reservations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-38
    Number of pages12
    JournalHigher education policy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


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