Jens Jungblut

Stanford University
Graduate School of Education (SCANCOR)

520 Galvez Mall, CERAS 123
Stanford, CA
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My work focuses conceptually on the role of actors in the policy process and constrains from their institutional environment. In my studies I employ comparative approaches based on concepts and theories from both public policy and political science. Thematically I focus on higher education and knowledge policies, governance in these areas as well as public sector steering in general.

Vukasovic, Martina, Jungblut, Jens and Mari Elken. 2017. "Still the main show in town? Assessing political saliency of the Bologna Process across time and space." Studies in Higher Education 42(8): 1421-1436.
Abstract: Numerous studies focused on the linkages between the Bologna Process and system ? as well as organizational-level changes ? implying significance of the process for higher education policy dynamics. However, what has been lacking is a closer examination of the political importance of Bologna for the different actors involved and whether this varies over time, space and types of actors. The present study investigates the changes in the size and rank of delegations of national governments and European stakeholder organizations to the Bologna ministerial conferences in order to assess Bologna's political saliency in relation to (1) a more concrete interest in the actual European policy preferences for higher education and (2) an interest in the symbolic aspect of European policy coordination in higher education. The results suggest that the Bologna Process is primarily losing political appeal for the national governments of European Union (EU) members, while for the EU candidates and potential members as well as for the European stakeholder organizations it remains politically salient.
Chou, Meng-Hsuan, Jungblut, Jens, Ravinet, Pauline and Martina Vukasovic. 2017. "Higher education governance and policy: an introduction to multi-issue, multi-level and multi-actor dynamics." Policy and Society 36(1): 1-15.
Abstract: This thematic issue introduces the multifaceted nature of contemporary public policy ? its multi-level, multi-actor and multi-issue features ? using the case of higher education policies from around the world. To do so, this introduction first describes how higher education as a policy sector should be garnering far more attention from scholars interested in political, economic and social transformation. A framework for identifying and accounting for how the ?multi-s? characteristics configure and re-configure public policy is then introduced. Next, this thematic issue?s contributions are summarized with highlights of how they bring to life the different ?multi-s? features. This introduction concludes with a discussion of what the proposed framework of the ?multi-s? offers to studies of higher education policy coordination. In so doing, the objectives of this thematic issue are to highlight what the case of higher education policy coordination offers to studies of public policy and to initiate a dialogue between all social scientists and practitioners interested in the increased complexity of governing, producing and using knowledge today.
Jungblut, Jens and Martina Vukasovic. 2017. "Not all markets are created equal: re-conceptualizing market elements in higher education." Higher Education, online first.
Abstract: Increasing reliance on market mechanisms in higher education is analysed both as one of the approaches to steering as well as in relation to the consequences of markets for quality and accessibility of higher education. This article goes beyond the normative considerations of market elements as inherently good or bad and the economic theory-guided focus on freedoms of users and providers, by presenting an alternative conceptualization. The conceptualization adapted from studies of markets in other parts of the welfare state to the context of higher education is based on two dimensions: (1) who effectively controls production of certain goods and services and (2) how access to and funding of these goods and services are regulated. It focuses on interests of three main actors—the state, the users (students) and the providers (higher education institutions). This leads to six conceptually distinct markets, whose key characteristics are illustrated by examples from Denmark, England, India, Norway, Portugal and Serbia. The key message is that this alternative conceptualization allows identifying variance in marketization of higher education with regards to (1) which actors are empowered, (2) who are the likely winners and losers and (3) what might be the risks of introducing specific market elements in a higher education system. More generally, a more nuanced analysis relying on this conceptualization can potentially contribute to a deeper understanding of political and policy dynamics in higher education.
Jungblut, Jens and Deanna Rexe. 2017. "Higher education policy in Canada and Germany: Assessing multi-level and multi-actor coordination bodies for policy-making in federal systems." Policy and Society 36(1): 49-66.
Abstract: Modern governments are increasingly faced with problems of policy coordination. However, coordination does not come naturally to organizations as it demands overcoming institutionalized working modes. Thus, countries have to find ways to tackle these problems to ensure efficient provision of public services. This contribution focuses on a specific and complex case, namely policy coordination for higher education policy in federal systems. The main research interest is to analyse the way in which coordination bodies responsible for higher education policy in two federal countries, Canada and Germany, organize their activities. Through this the study contributes to the understanding of the relevance of policy coordination in multi-level and multi-actor policy-making environments as well as the particular institutions that are dedicated to this task. Both coordination bodies are found to have many commonalities. However, the persisting differences, which can be traced to constitutional surroundings, also stress the importance of local conditions.
Jungblut, Jens and Marc Jungblut. 2017. "All different? All equal? differentiation of universities’ mission statements and excellence initiatives in Germany." Science and Public Policy 44(4): 535–545.
Abstract: German universities have traditionally been characterized as homogenous. However, recent policies such as the excellence initiative were supposed to introduce differentiation and incentivize universities to develop more specific missions. This study analyzes the mission statements of German universities using a quantitative content analysis. It focuses on the question, whether the mission statements of German universities can be clustered in different groups and if so, whether the membership in one of these groups correlates with a university’s success in one of the initiatives or other organizational characteristics. The results show that German universities today have somewhat differentiated mission statements focusing either on research or education. Additionally, half of the universities created significantly longer mission statements with more diverse profiles. However, the characteristics of a university’s mission statement are found not to be related to the university’s success in the excellence initiative, the Competition for Teaching Excellence or the type of institution.
Jungblut, Jens. 2017. "From preferences to policies in coalition governments—Unpacking policy making in European higher education." Public Policy and Administration 32(4): 323-348.
Abstract: This article focuses on the role of political parties for policy making, and it traces the development from party preferences over coalition positions to policy proposals. The main argument is that parties with more similar preferences agree on more encompassing sets of policies, and that if a coalition formulates a policy in its agreement the chances for a policy proposal are higher. However, the need to negotiate the coalition agreement with other parties mediates the influence of partisan preferences. The article is based on a qualitative content analysis of documents as well as expert interviews from three West European countries and focuses on higher education policy. The results show preferences of governing parties influence policy proposals also in situations of coalition government. Furthermore, coalition agreements are found to be central documents in policy making as they limit veto capacities and indicate where substantial policy change is likely.
Jungblut, Jens. 2016. "Re-distribution and public governance – the politics of higher education in Western Europe." European Politics and Society 17(3): 331-352.
Abstract: Many studies analysing partisan politics assume differing preferences based on parties? ideological backgrounds without providing matching empirical analysis. This is especially true for specialized policy areas like higher education policy, which are often not included in large comparative analysis of manifestos addressing core policies. Additionally, the limited existing literature that includes higher education focuses only on the re-distributive dimension of partisan competition. However, the main theoretical argument of this article is that in order to fully capture partisan dynamics, it is necessary to include a second analytical dimension, addressing the question how higher education is governed. Based on this framework, theoretical expectations for partisan preferences of different party families are deduced. Subsequently, these expectations are tested using originally coded election manifestos and a qualitative content analysis for all relevant parties in four European countries (the UK, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands). The findings show that parties do hold differing preferences which can be structured along two dimensions. While many parties fulfil the theoretical expectations, there is also a fair amount of variation within party families, which can be explained by pointing to the importance of institutions, their legacies, and the resulting constraints for the formation of partisan preferences.
Jungblut, Jens, Martina Vukasovic and Bjørn Stensaker. 2015. "Student perspectives on quality in higher education." European Journal of Higher Education 5(2): 157-180.
Abstract: The study provides an insight into student perspectives on quality in higher education, using Harvey and Green conceptualizations as the point of departure, and exploring the linkages between the views on quality, the developments of the Bologna Process and related national reforms, as well as students' motivation for and expectations from higher education. Using the data collected in a survey of the student population in several European countries, the study shows that students have a multifaceted perception of quality in higher education, very homogenous with regards to ‘quality as transformation/added value’ perspective, but rather polarized with regards to ‘quality as value for money’ perspective. Students seem to prefer perspectives that put them in the center of the process, though not necessarily only as active participants and co-creators of the higher education experience, but potentially also as passive consumers. The results show some blurring of the boundaries between the more traditional Humboldtian and the consumerist views on higher education among students.
DOI: 10.1080/21568235.2014.998693
Jungblut, Jens. 2014. "Partisan Politics in Higher Education Policy: How Does the Left-Right Divide of Political Parties Matter in Higher Education Policy in Western Europe?" Gaële Goastellec and France Picard, eds. Higher Education in Societies - A Multi Scale Perspective. (pp. 87 - 112). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Jungblut, Jens. 2014. "Bringing political parties into the picture: a two-dimensional analytical framework for higher education policy." Higher Education 69(5):867-882.
Abstract: This article examines conceptually the role of political parties in higher education policy. It discusses in how far political parties matter for changes in higher education policy, whether they offer different policy positions that might result in differing policy outputs and how one can conceptualize these differences. To do so, it develops a two-dimensional analytical framework consisting of one dimension that captures re-distributive conflicts and one dimension that captures conflicts over the control of the higher education system. To exemplify this, the article presents illustrative higher education systems and develops hypotheses about where different parties would ideally position themselves in relation to the framework. The article expands on these ideal positions by introducing different forms of path dependencies that might limit political parties and thus lead to a situation of constrained partisan preferences. Finally, it proposes a research agenda based on the analytical framework and the hypotheses generated from it. Overall, the article argues that political parties can be expected to favor different higher education systems and thus matter for changes in higher education policy.
DOI: 10.1007/s10734-014-9810-5
Jungblut, Jens and Martina Vukasovic. 2013. "And Now for Something Completely Different? Re-Examining Hybrid Steering Approaches in Higher Education." Higher Education Policy 26(4):447-461.
Abstract: Using the seminal contribution by Gornitzka and Maassen on hybrid steering approaches in higher education as a foundation, this paper offers three main contributions. First of all, an analysis is provided of how the concept of hybrid steering approaches has been used since 2000 in the higher education literature. Second, the paper delivers a theoretical underpinning for the existence of hybrid steering in higher education stemming from institutional theory and policy analysis. Third, the paper deepens and broadens the concept of hybrid steering emphasizing the permanence of hybrids, their potential homogeneity and convergence over time. Furthermore, their relation to multi-level governance arrangements as well as interaction between global scripts and national filters is addressed. In the conclusion, several avenues for future research are offered.
DOI: 10.1057/hep.2013.28

Substantive Focus:
Education Policy PRIMARY
Governance SECONDARY
Science and Technology Policy
Social Policy
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory SECONDARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation