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Department of Administration and Organization Theory
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Spring program

Infopage for the upcoming department seminars, spring 2022.

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What makes university departments creative?

Opening Meeting of the General Seminar Series in Politics and Government

March 9, 2022

The University of Bergen.
Location: 9th floor, Lauritz Meltzers hus

Time: 03.15 PM

Zoom: Click here

Questions:

  • How are creative academic communities built?
  • When do you know you are on the path to a creative scientific community? What are the warning signs that you are not?
  • In what ways do the nature of the academic field and traditions help in developing a creative scientific community? When do they hinder?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints in building a creative scientific community at a contemporary Scandinavian university?

Participants:

We have invited one of the most successful and prominent scientific community entrepreneurs in political science in Scandinavia in the past decades, Professor Bo Rothstein, to share his experience and insights about these questions in a 45-minute talk.

The talk will be preceded by brief introductory remarks by the Dean of the Social Sciences Professor Jan Erik Askildsen, on how the Social Science Faculty at the University of Bergen currently thinks about supporting and promoting creative scientific communities.

Three prepared discussants, Professor Lise Rakner, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Hege Beate Stein Helland, and Professor emeritus Per Lægreid will engage Bo Rothstein’s talk before the session opens for questions from the audience. The Head of the Department of Administration and Organization Theory, Professor Lise Rykkja, will summarize lessons learnt and remaining questions at the end.

The event is organized by the Department of Administration and Organization Theory and will be chaired by Professor Elisabeth Ivarsflaten.

Background:

A special window of opportunity for developing a vibrant and creative scientific community has opened at the Department of Administration and Organization Theory. The backdrop is generational change and a large, recent, and rapid infusion of resources in the form of new staff and research grants from external sources. 

The department has a proud history of strength in the study of public administration, public policy, organizations, and local and multilevel politics and governance. More recently, the portfolio has expanded in particular with regards to the study of global governance with emphasis on the global South; law and politics; democracy, representation, and public opinion; and complex global challenges and crises (e.g. climate change, migration, public health, and democratic strains). We have now gathered under one roof, the intellectual minds behind two interdisciplinary research centers (The Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, DIPA, and the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, LawTransform) and one large and expanding infrastructure for online survey research (The Digital Social Science Core Facility, DIGSSCORE).  For students, the process of reforming and expanding the English-language study program into an MA in Global Governance has started.

The recent academic achievements of the faculty based at the department are remarkable by any standard. We are in all likelihood the only university department in Norway (regardless of discipline) to simultaneously hold four ongoing ERC-funded research projects (three consolidator grants; one starting grant). We most likely have the strongest team of senior female professors of any political science department world-wide. Several members of our staff publish articles in the top journals of our discipline and monographs with leading university presses. Many have highly competitive records of scientific and/or societal impact. As a result of the success in attracting grants from external sources (also beyond ERC), we are currently recruiting an unprecedented number of Ph Ds and postdoctoral research fellows. This means we will within the next year have a sizable cohort of early career researchers.

All this has generated an urgent need to address the question of how to best take advantage of this special window of opportunity to build a stimulating intellectual space for addressing crucial and complex societal challenges.