Reference : Exploring the Institutionalisation of Science Diplomacy: A Comparison of German and S...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Exploring the Institutionalisation of Science Diplomacy: A Comparison of German and Swiss Science and Innovation Centres
Epping, Elisabeth mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > > ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) > Institute of Political Science]
University of Luxembourg, ​Esch-sur-Alzette, ​​Luxembourg
Harmsen, Robert mailto
Powell, Justin J W mailto
Dusdal, Jennifer mailto
Ruffini, Pierre-Bruno mailto
Albrecht, Ulrike mailto
[en] Science Diplomacy ; Außenwissenschaftspolitik ; Science and Innovation Centres ; Comparative Research ; Swissnex ; DWIH ; Policy Instruments ; Deutsche Wissenschafts- und Innovationshäuser ; Case Study Research ; Germany ; Switzerland
[en] This thesis explains and investigates the development and the institutionalisation of Science
and Innovation Centres (SICs) as being distinct instruments of science diplomacy. SICs are a
unique and underexplored instrument in the science diplomacy toolbox and they are
increasingly being adopted by highly innovative countries. This research responds to a
growing interest in the field. Science diplomacy is commonly understood as a distinct
governmental approach that mobilises science for wider foreign policy goals, such as
improving international relations. However, science diplomacy discourse is characterised by a
weak empirical basis and driven by normative perspectives. This research responds to these
shortcomings and aims to lift the smokescreen of science diplomacy by providing an insight
into its governance while also establishing a distinctly actor-centred perspective. In order to
achieve this, two distinct SICs, Germany’s Deutsche Wissenschafts- und Innovationshäuser
(DWIH) and Switzerland’s Swissnex are closely analysed in an original comparative and
longitudinal study. While SICs are just one instrument in the governmental toolbox for
promoting international collaboration and competition, they are distinct due to their holistic set-
up and their role as a nucleus for the wider research and innovation system they represent.
Moreover, SICs appear to have the potential to create a significant impact, despite their limited
financial resources.
This thesis takes a historical development perspective to outline how these two SICs were
designed as well as their gradual development and institutionalisation. The thesis further
probes why actors participate in SICs by unpacking their differing rationales, developing a
distinctly actor-centred perspective on science diplomacy. This study has been designed in an
inductive and exploratory way to account for the novelty of the topic; the research findings are
based on the analysis of 41 interviews and a substantial collection of documents. The study
finds evidence that SICs developed as a response to wider societal trends, although these
trends differed for the two case studies. Moreover, the development of SICs has been
characterised by aspects such as timing, contingency and critical junctures. SICs are
inextricably connected to their national contexts and mirror distinct system characteristics,
such as governance arrangements or degree of actor involvement. These aspects were also
seen as explaining the exact shape that SICs take. Furthermore, this study finds evidence of
an appropriation of SICs by key actors, in line with their organisational interests. In the case of
the DWIH, this impacted and even limited its (potential) design and ways of operating.
However, the analysis of SICs’ appropriation also revealed a distinct sense of collectivity,
which developed among actors in the national research and innovation ecosystem due to this
joint instrument. The research findings reaffirm that science diplomacy is clearly driven by
national interests, while further highlighting that the notion of science diplomacy and its
governance (actors, rationales and instruments) can only be fully understood by analysing the
national context.
University of Luxembourg - UL
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public ; Others

File(s) associated to this reference

Fulltext file(s):

Limited access
PhDThesis_ElisabethEpping_finalversion.pdfAuthor postprint4.49 MBRequest a copy

Bookmark and Share SFX Query

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.