Public policy and universities: the interplay of knowledge and power

Andrew Gunn, Michael Mintrom

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Higher education is undergoing unprecedented transformation. In the global knowledge economy universities are of paramount importance to governments worldwide. This creates a strong rationale for an element exploring how the interactions between universities and the state are being reconfigured, while highlighting the role policy analysis can play in explaining these dynamics. Specifically, this element draws on four theoretical approaches – New-Institutionalism, the Advocacy Coalition Framework, the Narrative Policy Framework, and Policy Diffusion and Transfer – to inform the analysis. Examples are drawn from a range of countries and areas of potential research informed by policy theory are identified. This element features a section dedicated to each of the three main missions of the university followed by an analysis of the institution as a whole. This reveals how universities, while typically seeking greater autonomy, remain subject to a multifaceted form of nation state oversight as they continue to globalise in an uncertain world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages102
ISBN (Electronic)9781108645867
ISBN (Print) 9781108703666
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022

Publication series

NameElements in Public Policy
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN (Print)2514-3565
ISSN (Electronic)2398-4058


  • Universities
  • higher education
  • Policy theory
  • Government
  • Policymaking


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