Education and Literature for Development in Responsibility: Partnership Hedges Globalization

Education and Literature for Development in Responsibility: Partnership Hedges Globalization

Gilbert Ahamer (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria & Karl-Franzens University Graz, Austria) and Karl A. Kumpfmüller (Graz Univrsity, Austria)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 59
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4458-8.ch027
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In order to propose quality assurance for cutting-edge transnational higher education management, this chapter first analyzes data on academic developmental journals while making use of the three widely known literature databases ISI Thomson, Scopus, and Google Scholar; the latter analyzed by the software Publish or Perish (PoP). Time series of data for documents and their citations provide indices; this chapter provides as most helpful indices the ISI impact factor, Scopus SNIP, and PoP AW index. A dozen of the most influential developmental journals are heuristically ranked by taking into account all available indices from all three literature databases. The series of historic bibliometric data since the 1950s shows the dynamics of the global emergence of developmental journals and developmental thought. Secondly, and as a possible template for similar initiatives in global higher education management, this chapter presents the recently established “Global Studies” (GS) Master’s curriculum at Graz University, Austria. Details on this novel curriculum’s targets, modules, courses, and practicals are given. GS embraces six modules and courses from different schools at university. Emphasis is placed on dialogic interdisciplinary understanding and interparadigmatic integration of multiple disciplines and perspectives, when managing education for the purpose of responsibly hedging and managing globalization and socio-economic global change in responsible partnership.
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Development in Responsibility

The need for global cooperation in mutual responsibility has long been accepted and has furthermore been underlined by the complex effects of globalization. As an effort to effectively manage the positive effects of globalization and to hedge its negative societal consequences, the need for trans-national collaboration among universities enjoys growing importance. Since 2004, an educational program for managers, developers, policy makers and administrators has been implemented at Graz University in Austria attracting annually some hundred new students (GS 2012). Similar initiatives creating developmental curricula were successful earlier in Vienna (IE 2012) and later in Salzburg (PLUS 2012).

For practical implementation of such ethically and globalization-oriented studies, the distribution of curricular courses at any given university might have to

  • 1.

    Demonstrate appropriate respect and esteem in relation to other paradigms.

  • 2.

    Allow students a high level of choice according to their preferences and needs.

  • 3.

    Take into account the availability of courses from other studies that can be included as electives.

One of the practical uses of this article might be to serve as a template and case study for similar transnational collaborative ventures in higher education management, to support interdisciplinary quality assessment and encourage the building of cutting-edge transdisciplinary educational programs in order to manage globalization in a culture of partnership. Disciplines and communicational profiles are both manifest in the diversity of students’ backgrounds.

For educational programs dealing with globalization, development and global studies, the author proposes as definition and motto: development is growing jointly in responsibility.

The present article has two targets:

  • 1.

    To present a view on developmental science and “Global Studies” (GS) using a bibliographic analysis of the main peer reviewed journals in this field by utilizing several literature databases: ISI by Thomson Reuters, Scopus by Elsevier and Publish or Perish (PoP) using Google Scholar data.

  • 2.

    To show and explain the curriculum of “Global Studies” (GS) Graz as a template for international comparison that could serve to enhance further trans-national collaboration among universities and even lead to the foundation of so-called “joint degrees.”

As a basis for writing and contextualizing, this paper dwells on the involvement of the second author as initiator and founder of the GS curriculum at Graz University after a full career in continued education, peace-keeping, and institution-building; of both authors’ lectures in practically all courses established specifically for GS Graz; and of the first author’s decades-long experiences in technologically-enhanced collaborative learning environments and dozens of practical developmental projects.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Publish or Perish: Is a free, downloadable program that uses Google Scholar data for in-depth bibliographic analysis.

Scopus: Is a European scientometric database providing mainly two indices: SNIP and SJR. Scopus contains twice as many journals as ISI Thomson and offers an easy-to-use Web access for subscribers including access to full text in subscribed journals.

Interparadigmatic: Approaches combine interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches; hence they respect both understandings stemming from different scientific disciplines and understandings from different cultural entrenchments.

Impact Factor: offered by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), today part of Thomson Reuters, tries to measure academic quality by the quotient of received citations divided by the number of articles (both regarding the two latest years). Variants of this factor and similar factors based on alternative or similar concepts are presented in scientometric literature (i.e., measuring quality and value in science) and also briefly in this article.

Intercultural: Approaches combine different understandings resulting from the actors’ entrenchment in different cultures and their adoption of differing values.

Developmental Journals: Are academic (mostly peer reviewed) journals that deal with global development issues such as globalization, economic convergence, peace, uneven development, and intercultural exchange.

Globalization: Is understood here as the slow but steady change in systemic patterns of global trade, economics, culture, society and behavior; triggered among other things by easier accessibility mediated through communication technologies.

Global Studies Curricula: Are developmental university curricula dealing with globalization, international equity, and respectful development.

Graz University: Is Austria’s second-oldest (since 1585) and second-largest (over 30,000 students) university in its second largest city of Graz (260,000 inhabitants) offering almost all important curricula in its six faculties. The latest innovation of this public generalist university is the interdisciplinary, intercultural, interparadigmatic, and interfaculty Master’s curriculum “Global Studies”, operating since 2010.

Interdisciplinary: Approaches combine understandings, models and views from different scientific disciplines.

Global Change: Is seen here as the long-term change in global patterns of social, cultural, economic and environmental systemic patterns that in the present epoch may take the form of globalization, but in other epochs exhibits different change patterns.

Google Scholar: Is a Web search functionality offered for free by Google providing far more journals than ISI or Scopus, including non-peer reviewed journals.

Bibliometric Analysis: Is the attempt to quantitatively assess the academic quality of journals or authors by statistical methods such as citation rates. Care must be taken to first suitably define quality criteria and then suitably implement them by selecting a suitable empirical basis; else misunderstanding on the meaning of quality can occur.

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