The explorative dissertation gives manifold insights into how complex the delineation and historical development of a new technological field is. Its analysis is based on the academic sector with its own structural and cultural elements where distinct formal and informal rules as well as beliefs are valid. The dissertation derives hypotheses from simulation and narrative interview data. The hypotheses make clear that the process of implementation of an advanced technology cannot be seen as an input-output relationship when trying to foster technological innovations and economic growth. Rather, working cultures based on norms, beliefs, and related meanings are located within institutions, i.e., universities and their research groups. These institutions are exposed to external pressures, such as grant policies. The interactions within the field seem to run counter to external political forces. In the end, the tension which emerges in the field produces the identity of nanotechnology within the scientific community. This identity is marked precisely by the ambiguity and reluctance that nanotechnology evokes in nanoresearchers who develop prolific strategies to deal with public funding on the one hand and to nurture the importance of firmly established academic disciplines on the other. These two strands represent the two sides of the coin of the academic community and the identity of nanotechnology.
The results are three-fold: first, the emergence of a research network due to nanotechnology funding and the impact of public funding were simulated by agent-based modeling; second, since the model does not give insights into the organizational life of academic nanotechnology, meanings of German and U.S. nanoscientists and their view on nanotechnology were explored drawing on data from 33 interviews; third, based on these meanings and evaluations of nanotechnology, central organizational characteristics of the academic field of nanotechnology were established. These hypotheses additionally hint to the limits of the Varieties-of-Capitalism (VoC) approach that relates solely to the macro-level and cannot adequately explain the success of nanotechnology in Germany, a coordinated market economy (CME). An analysis of the meso-level reveals the differing national implementations of nanotechnology at universities that show how, in different national contexts, an advanced technology can be successfully incorporated into higher education and research systems.
The main finding was that the field of nanotechnology is exposed to forces exerted by political actors and grant policies on the one hand and by reluctance and ambiguity toward nanotechnology within the scientific community on the other. In other words, a political Mode 2 conception of knowledge production concept meets a Mode 1 culture of university knowledge production. The result is tension, which represents the main characteristic of the field and which marks the production of an identity of nanotechnology that takes effect in academe.
This tension is positively used by politicians and scientists who manage to pursue their own goals without infringing each other’s responsibilities. Scientists, the main actors interviewed for the study, are involved in both institutional and cultural change. They induce change through strategically handling the external political pressure or, more neutrally speaking, political interests by tapping into third-party funds and by simultaneously nurturing their working cultures. The latter were based on academic disciplines that they were formerly socialized in and that marked the reproduction of new scientists for their research groups. Cultural change becomes visible in the fact that an institutionalization of nanotechnology is possible without restructuring the disciplinary based institutional structure of universities and without turning scientists into mere nanotechnologists. Finally, in addition to structural institutional change in higher education systems, processes of institutionalization have been included: the definition of a scientific community via identity construction and professionalization.
The exploration of the field of nanotechnology is important for two reasons. First, nanotechnology is a new advanced technology that is strongly politically pushed and that incites enormous institutional change, both on the structural and on the process-level, as shown by professionalization for instance. Second, in previous studies, an emphasis has been laid primarily on the development of patents and citations in nanotechnology. The study, by contrast, looks at nanotechnology from wholly new perspectives. For countries that stress advanced technologies as drivers for economic growth and measure for international competitiveness, knowledge about the constitution of a field is indispensable if one wants to foster it in a successful and effective way.
For now, nanotechnology is not a discipline in the sense that it has a fixed number of actors or a clear profile or linear identity, yet it has been successfully institutionalized in Germany and the U.S. and is characterized by a unique identity. This identity is based on the socially constructed interests of the central actors of the field, interests that meet at the point where these actors agree that public funding is indispensable to advance nanotechnology.
Institutional change can be observed without a change of the predominant disciplinary structure of universities that is based on chairs and departments or colleges. This finding runs counter to the Mode 2 argument that interdisciplinarity has become a feature of university knowledge production. The tension that arises from the prevalence of disciplines and the integration of nanotechnology into universities embracing several disciplines is necessary to enable institutional change. The security of discipline-based self-categorization gives researchers the freedom to risk change without giving up the basic research orientation in nanotechnology. As basic research is still the major portion that informants devoted their time to, the Mode 2 conception of nanotechnology is thus only partially valid due to the early stage of nanotechnology research.
With these interview and simulation results, implications for higher education policy are derived. With the aforementioned influence of the state, the simulation results demonstrate that the way grants are distributed in scientific communities influences the spread of new disciplines and technological research. The simulation results showed a direct influence of funding schemes, with other possible influential factors, i.e., random sample variances or ‘noise,’ ruled out. Public policy can influence science, however and most importantly, only to a limited degree since, naturally, a number of variables exert pressure and change on the field.
The so-called 'healthy immigrant effect' (HIE) is one of the most striking findings concerning immigrants and their health status. It is usually said to consist of two parts: According to the first part, immigrants upon arrival are on average healthier than their native peers. This finding is mostly explained by self-selection among their origin population. The idea is that healthier individuals are more likely to migrate as they are more able to reap the reward of the investment ‘migration’ than less healthy individuals. However, according to the second part, this health gap between immigrants and natives closes after a relatively short period of time, and the health of immigrants is converging to that of the natives or is getting even worse. This gradient of immigrants’ health has been found in many countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, and the United States) and for many different measures of health (e.g., self-rated health, chronic diseases). The causes for this decline in immigrants’ health are subject to ongoing research, but the underlying processes are not yet fully understood. In literature, several different explanations are discussed: The adoption of destination-country habits and lifestyles, the structural and material relationship between a low socio-economic status and poor health, additional stress due to the migration process, persistent barriers to access to health care due to cultural or language factors, as well as a kind of 'statistical artefact' due to selection effects caused by return migration. As health is a rather complex concept, one can assume that none of the proposed explanations can solely explain the decline in immigrants’ health, but rather that the health deterioration is a result of different interacting causes. This thesis investigates three of the proposed possible explanations for a decline in immigrants’ health, namely return migration, the adoption of destination-country habits and lifestyles, and immigrants’ access to health care and utilisation of health care services.
This study is a collection of essays on monetary-fiscal interactions within the European Monetary Union (EMU). Our research focuses on a theoretical evaluation of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and its huge reform debate. The topics chosen are not on the top economists' agenda because the whole field of research has been too young and has not fully been developed, since the beginning of the Monetary Union, in 1999. We analyze the Stability and Growth Pact in new and extended theoretical model frameworks. We ask the following questions on the 'political agenda': 1. What is an optimal fiscal rule in a monetary union? 2. What are internal constraints in a monetary union? 3. Why do larger countries have more problems with the SGP? Our theoretical findings lead us to elaborate a "new" reform proposal on the Stability and Growth Pact. We find a mechanism that allows for a more efficient and credible enforcement of the SGP than in the old and meanwhile reformed Stability Pact. Our aim of providing a comprehensive overview of the fiscal architecture of the EMU is feasible only by means of a close link between methods of economics and political science. This interdisciplinary approach and new field of research supplies a highly promising way of reaching a deeper insight into the present and future interlockings - both on the national as well as the supranational level.
Worker participation at the supervisory board has always been subject to controversial debate. It is not the aim of this paper to examine worker participation as to its advantages and disadvantages, but to give the reader an overview of how companies can determine the depth, form and level of worker participation by choosing between different legal structures within the EU. Generally speaking, three alternatives can be identified. First of all, companies that do business across boarders in the EU/EEA and are organised as joint-stock companies may establish a European Company (Societas Europaea = SE) from October 8th, 2004 on. The Council of Ministers has agreed on the European Company Statute during the Nice Summit in December 2000 after more than 30 years of controversial debate. In this context two legal instruments have been enacted, the council regulation (No. 2157/2001) on the Statute for a European Company, which rules the internal corporate governance structure of the SE, and the council directive (2001/86/EC) supplementing the Statute for a European Company with regard to the involvement of employees on the company level, which emphasises voluntary negotiations between employees' representatives, a so-called special negotiating body, and the management. The negotiation's outcome primarily depends on the negotiating skills of the parties involved. If no agreement is achieved, the management, however, still wants to establish a SE, standard rules are applied that are specified in the Annex of the Directive. Secondly, companies continuously organise their activities by choosing a legal form that is provided by national law. According to rulings as to freedom of establishment by the ECJ, member states have to recognise companies that have been established according to legal provisions in another member state as long as this member state follows incorporation theory. This means, for instance, for the management that it may establish a British private limited company. Then the ltd. can even transfer its administrative centre to Germany. In order to do business there, the ltd. must be registered in the German commercial register. Consequently, German legislation regarding worker participation at the company level cannot be applied. Finally, the proposal for a EU directive on cross-border mergers of companies with share capital is mentioned in this context. The proposal provides two alternatives concerning worker participation in the case of a merger. On the one hand, one ore more companies participating are subject to any form of worker participation so far and there are no national provisions on worker participation in the member state, where the new company is incorporated. In this case a procedure in accordance with the SE Directive will have to be established. On the other hand, the member state, in which the new company is incorporated, offers national provisions regarding worker participation. They will have to be applied in consequence. In sum, the above-mentioned organisational alternatives might put considerable pressure on the different industrial relations systems persistent in the EU. In the long run, this pressure might result in a convergence not only of the industrial relations systems but also of the corporate governance systems.
Companies doing cross-boarder business in Europe can choose between several national and European legal alternatives. In the centre of this paper, are two of them: alternatives provided by the freedom of establishment and the European Company Statute. The focus of this paper is not on the practical implications of these two action alternatives for enterprises, but on the judicial issues arising in this context. After presenting the current rulings of the European Court of Justice regarding the freedom of establishment and the basic contents of the legal acts, council regulation No. 2157/2001 and council directive No. 2001/86/EC, regarding the European Company (SE), two issues of great importance are examined in this context: the issue of the governing law and the issue of harmonisation. Finally it is presented to the reader to what extent those European provisions are consistent, respectively, restrict one another.