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Academic Elites in Switzerland 1910 - 2000 between Autonomy and Power

Duration of project: 01.02.2013 - 31.01.2016
Research Team: Felix Bühlmann (Unil), André Mach (Unil), Thomas David (Unil)
Funding source: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

This research project aims to understand the evolution of the Swiss academic elites in the 20th century. The following research questions will be addressed: a) which are the resources owned by the academic elite, the processes of acquisition of these resources and their distribution within the academic field? b) What are the relations of academic elites to other fields (political, economic, and administrative) and how have these relations evolved during the 20th century? To address these points of inquiry we will draw on a historical sample of Swiss university professors. We will collect data on relevant resources of all full professors: scientific reputation, institutional positions, social networks, international experiences and educational credentials. These data will then be analysed by an innovative combination of methods including network analysis, sequence analysis and multiple correspondence analysis. For the first time in Switzerland, this project will allow us to overcome the particularistic studies of single universities or scientific disciplines, it will enable us to understand the evolution of the academic elite in the “long durée” and to link the academic elite to leading actors in the political, administrative and economic sphere.
 


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