to their management; these changes are sometimes encapsulated in the term 'the new evaluative state' (Neave 1998). The emphasis on performance indicators has emerged from reforms within the public sector, where it was designed to increase efficiency and accountability, and to reduce costs and perceived waste (Hood and Scott 1996). Governments have progressively extended these new evaluative mechanisms to universities in most of the advanced societies, to foster better strategic planning and enterprise.The underlying assumption is that market competition within and between universities provides a more effective means of regulation and control than traditional models of academic collegiality.
How the social sciences will respond to these major challenges remains to be seen. What is clear is that the degree of social change in the twentieth century and, to an even greater extent, the prospects for change in the twenty-first, greatly enhance the importance of the social sciences to modern society.The revolutions in global communications and information, the collapse of communism and the triumph of democracy, and the increasing reliance on the free market to regulate and modernise society at a time when inequalities are increasing, all present major problems – and opportunities – for social scientists. How the social sciences act to deal with these problems, and, to an even greater degree, how their solutions are received by politicians and policy-makers, may in many respects shape the development of the social sciences for many decades to come.
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