CALL FOR PAPERS: “Long term perspectives on higher education: student movements, human capital and expert culture” special issue of International Review of Social Research, vol. 7, issue 3, October 2017.

Call for papers: “Long term perspectives on higher education: student movements, human capital and expert culture” special issue of International Review of Social Research, vol. 7, issue 3, October 2017.

Guest editors:

  • Jan Sadlak (IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence)
  • Bogdan Murgescu (University of Bucharest)
  • Viorel Proteasa (West University of Timișoara)

The second half of the 20th century was a period of significant expansion of secondary and tertiary education throughout the world. The number of students grew exponentially, the institutional landscape of higher education diversified, the share of university graduates on the labor market became more significant than ever before, and their impact on the overall economic performance of various societies also increased. Before the 1990s, there was a strong relationship between the dynamics of economic development and the expansion of higher education on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

In the West and the East alike, systemic framework conditions mattered. In socialist command-systems, higher education was part of centralized planning and, in principle, it was shaped to fit the requirements of the economy, under strict state control. In Western Europe, where higher education institutions enjoyed extensive autonomy, their relations with the state were, to a greater or lesser extent, transactional. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, higher education in former socialist countries evolved towards convergence with the Western model, stimulated by the accession to the European Union and by the Bologna Process.

This special issue aims at providing an evolutionary perspective on postwar European higher education both East and West, while pointing at historical references, path-dependencies, critical junctures, and “original” institutional settings determined by the interaction of new forms with historical legacies.

The main topics on which we expect contributions are:

  • Drivers and institutional frameworks for the expansion of higher education
  • Professionalization patterns – national and international contexts
  • Status and dynamics of expert knowledge & interventions in different social systems
  • Labor market, human capital and skills-premiums for higher education graduates
  • International student mobility. “East” –“West” – “Third World” countries
  • Student movements and student politics, student representation and student organizations
  • Organizational perspectives on higher education

Contributions which do not focus on these topics, but are nevertheless relevant for the overall theme of the special issue, will also be considered. Comparative and evolutionary approaches are encouraged. The special issue aims to bring together analyses focusing on national and/or local case-studies, which have the potential to constitute the basis for comparative research.


The deadline for articles is July 31st, 2017. The paper proposals will go through the typical double-blind peer-reviewing process.

Articles should ideally be no more than 11 typeset pages in length. As a guide, the main text (not including Abstract, Methods, References and figure legends) should be no more than 4,500 words. The maximum Article title length is 20 words. The Abstract — which must be no more than 300 words long and contain no references — should serve both as a general introduction to the topic and as a brief, non-technical summary of the main results and their implications. Details regarding the expected format and author guideline for authors can be found at please check author guidelines at

The editors kindly encourage the authors to discuss the topic or other details prior to submission. The following addresses shall be used for communication regarding the special issue: or .

About the editors:

  • Jan Sadlak (IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence)

Jan Sadlak is  the President of the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence. He is internationally recognized and highly cited expert in higher education policy, governance and management at the system and institutional level. His research interests and publications cover such topics as processes of reform and transformation in higher education and science policy, organization of doctoral studies and qualifications, private higher education, world-class university, quality assurance and academic ranking as well as ethical dimension of higher education and academic values. He is [or has been] a member of the editorial boards of the leading journals in the field of higher education, science and social policy as well as international relations. In the period September 2009 – January 2011, he has been Professor and Vice-rector for International Cooperation at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities/SWPS in Warsaw, Poland. From October 1999 to July 2009, he has been Director of UNESCO-European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) and Representative of UNESCO in Romania. Prior to this position he was Chief of Section for Higher Education Policy at UNESCO, Paris [1992 – 1999]. He has a long record of being a member of the governing boards, scientific councils of various bodies and organizations. At present he is Member of the Board of Directors of AVEPRO – Agenzia della Santa Sede per la Valutazione e la Promozione della Qualità e Facoltà Ecclesiastiche [the Holy See’s Agency for Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties], the Member of The Leadership Advisory Board Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLIKS), Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Jan Sadlak was awarded several high-level national and academic distinctions and seven honorary doctorates (Doctor honoris causa) from leading universities in Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. He is Member Correspondent of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities – Academia Europensis, France, and Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, USA. He has been teaching at the leading universities in Canada, China, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romanian, Russia, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. He holds PhD (1988) in Educational Administration and Comparative Education from the SUNY/ University of Buffalo, USA, and M.A. (1968) in Economics from the University of Economics in Wrocław, Poland

  • Bogdan Murgescu (University of Bucharest)

Bogdan Murgescu, Ph.D, is professor of economic history and director of the Council for Doctoral Studies, University of Bucharest. He has been Roman Herzog Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin (1998-2000; recurring 2006) and Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh (2002) and Central European University, Budapest (2004). Currently president of the Romanian Society for Historical Sciences, member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, and of various other academic bodies. He has published extensively on various topics of economic and social history, as well as on the evolution of historiography. His most awarded book is, so far, România și Europa. Acumularea decalajelor economice (1500-2010) [Romania and Europe. The accumulation of development lags (1500-2010)], published in 2010. The book examines the economic backwardness of Romania over more than five centuries of history, comparing it with the evolution of three countries that had a similar level of (under)development around 1500, but that evolved extremely differently afterwards: Denmark, Ireland and Serbia. Besides its contributions to comparative economic history, this book brings important insights to the current debates the pre-requisites and rhythm of catching-up in 21st century Europe. More recently, Bogdan Murgescu has focused on the study of higher education and human capital. He has lead the research project Economic Planning, Higher Education, and the Accumulation of Human Capital in Romania (1948-1989) (2011-2016), has initiated and coordinated the first yearly reports on the financing of higher education in Romania (regarding the years 2012, 2013, and 2014), and chairs since December 2016 the National Council for Higher Education Statistics and Forecast (CNSPIS).

  • Viorel Proteasa (West University of Timișoara)

Viorel Proteasa serves as a Director of the Center for Public Policy at the West University of Timișoara. He is currently a researcher within the project “From corporatism to diversity: a neo-institutionalist study of representative student organizations in post-communist Romania”. He holds a PhD in Political Science and published on, among others, higher education funding, diversification, and student support schemes. He worked for the Bologna Process Secretariat, where, amongst others, he co-authored the report on transparency tools (2012). While undergoing his university studies, he was involved in student politics. He served as a member of the ESIB/ESU Executive Committee, after being involved several years in local and national student representation in Romania. His latest publication addresses academic control over policy in Central-Eastern Europe, with a special focus on Romania.


CALL FOR PAPERS: “Long term perspectives on higher education: student movements, human capital and expert culture” special issue of International Review of Social Research, vol. 7, issue 3, October 2017.

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