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Title of host publicationThe Emotional Politics of Research Collaboration
DateAccepted/In press - 2013
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationNew York
EditorsGabriele Griffin, Hildur Kalman, Annelie Branstrom Ohman
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameAdvanced Research Methods
PublisherRoutledge

Abstract

This chapter explores the complex and contradictory relationship between the increasing calls for research collaboration at international (e.g. European Commission, National Endowment ) and national (e.g. national research councils) levels on the one hand and the politics of individualized blaming associated with the concomitant cultures of accountability on the other. Drawing on Wendy Brown’s concept of ‘wounded states’ and on Sara Ahmed’s work on affect, the chapter analyses the precarious dynamic of incitement to team work for the purposes of research and identification of individual contributions in the context of assessment. The latter leads to a desocialization (Gledhill 2004) of research collaboration which is in direct conflict with many of the intentions underlying the promotion of that collaboration. I utilize anthropological work on neoliberal governmentality (e.g. Thrupp 1998, Shore and Wright 1999, Williams 2003, Kaplan et al 2007, Kipnis 2008, Carcello 2009) as well as experiential work from various research-council funded inter(-national) research collaborations to argue that contemporary research politics, not least in its concern with the marketization of research, established a particular, and particularly competitive research environment. That environment promotes practices of self, in Foucauldian terms, that are not necessarily conducive to fostering the climate of openness and frank exchange of ideas necessary for successful research collaboration. Taking up Shore and Wright’s (2000) suggestion of the need for ‘political reflexivity’ the chapter argues for an explicit engagement with the cultures of accountability that permeate research in the early 21st century to mediate the unproductive blame dimensions those cultures encourage.

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