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The Australian National University

Call for papers: gender studies and gender research in times of the new governance of science

Call for papers for a book project: Gender Studies and Gender Research in Times of the New Governance of Science

The science system and especially universities are deemed highly important and are simultaneously contested: as production sites of useful and utilisable societal knowledge and as monopolized institutions for the acquirement and the allocation of academic qualifications, scientific organizations are crucial for late modern knowledge societies and obtained an outstanding position in the context of globalisation and internationalisation. Since several years, higher education and scientific organisations are challenged by new governance strategies, which go hand in hand with marketization, the introduction of managerialist tools like rankings and the demand for scientific excellence.

A high potential for innovation has been attributed to gender studies and research by the discipline itself, and in the rhetoric of science policy. This potential includes content-related as well as organizational-cultural and -structural impulses for the science system and for societal or political actions. At the same time, the field of gender studies and research has been feminized since its beginning in modern Western societies; on all levels, mainly women are engaged in this field. Accordingly, the development and promotion of gender studies and research has always had a twofold meaning: supporting the implementation of gender equality for women and promoting the development of the science concerning contents, theories, methodologies and related organizational and cultural structures in higher education and research.

In the light of the new governance of science with its output orientation and related management tools, the analyses of organizational cultures and structures in higher education and research are a main starting point to foster the potential for innovation in gender studies and gender research. Thereby, i. a. the following questions need to be answered:

  • How much importance is ascribed to gender studies and gender research under the conditions of the new governance in contemporary transformation processes of the academic system, considering scientific, organizational (cultural and structural) and politically-administrative perspectives?
  • What kind of promotion do gender studies and gender research receive in this process by the different actors in science and university policy?
  • Under the conditions of the new governance, what are starting points that can deepen and broaden the field of gender studies and gender research?

These questions will be discussed in the context of the planned book publication. Furthermore, current debates concerning the development of higher education and science, public research funding, career opportunities and strategies for new generations of scientists as well as the dialogue between academia and social practice should be considered.

We welcome proposals for scientific papers, in particular those concerning the following questions:

  • How can the specific expertise of gender studies and gender research scientifically and socially continue to be asserted, considering the conditions of the governance structures that aim at utilization and usefulness of science? What kind of acceptance do gender studies and gender research have in science and in other societal institutions (such as media, politics, economics)? To what extent is the scientific and societal status of gender studies and gender research influenced by its feminization? What is the scientific, but also the societal meaning of gender studies and research?
  • Where does the new governance of science offer starting points to integrate gender studies and research in the organizational development of higher education and research? What kinds of promotion strategies and instruments or co-operations are effective and why; what is unrewarding? How can, in this regard, the tensions between gender research and gender equality politics be interpreted? Are there special qualities, e.g. the mode of knowledge production, that make gender studies and gender research fit well to the new governance?
  • How do scientific careers in gender research look like under the conditions of the new governance? To what extent can specific career opportunities be found on different career levels, and what are possible specific barriers in career developments for gender scholars? What is the role of claims for excellence in gender research and for its protagonists? How could careers for female (and male) scientists qualified or currently qualifying in gender research be promoted in higher education and research? Are special support programs needed, and if yes, how could these look like?
  • What meaning does public research funding have for the further development of gender studies and gender research? How could promotion strategies for gender research in disciplines with so far little integration of gender dimensions, for instance in natural sciences, life sciences or economics, look like? How does the focus on external funding and the thematic organization in many funded research projects influence the further development of gender research?

Both theoretical, as well as empirical, submissions concerning these questions are welcomed.

Please send your abstract (with a length of 300-500 words about the topic, objectives and research questions plus, if applicable, the empirical background of the paper) in form of a word- or pdf-document until April 11th, 2016, via e-mail to the editor Prof. Dr. Heike Kahlert (

You will be informed about the acceptance of your paper proposal until May 6th, 2016.

The final papers (with a length of 6.000-8.000 words) have to be submitted until September 15th, 2016. The final decision about publication will depend on the results of peer review.

For more information on the research context of the book project see or

Call for papers is attached below.

Updated:  7 November, 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute