Ranking Universities Based on Policy Relevance

by Erik Voeten on September 17, 2013 · 1 comment

in Academia

Peter Campbell and Michael Desch have developed new rankings of scholars and universities. The authors take specific issue with NRC rankings. Here is their description at Foreign Affairs (ungated for 4 weeks):

With the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, we have ranked the top fifty political science departments based on 37 different measures of scholarly excellence and broader policy relevance of their international relations faculty. We have done the same thing for the 442 individual scholars in that group. The full results are available here: www.nd.edu/~carnrank.

Have fun with the data and report back with interesting findings.

{ 1 comment }

Steve Saideman September 18, 2013 at 9:15 am

The iron law of ranking is that any re-ranking improves the ranking of the department of the folks doing the re-ranking.

The piece has some good points, but the causal argument here is pretty flawed–people do not choose where to publish to maximize their place’s ranking. They choose refereed outlets because academics are socialized into thinking that refereed pubs are more scientific, more credible.
The other big problem is the notion that JFK School, SAIS and the other policy schools are “left out in the cold.” They may not be ranked well by the NRC, but in our understanding of what is a good program, in the social construction of the IR discipline, those programs are highly thought of and are the ones that folks do send their best students towards.
I spew a bit more about such re-rankings here http://saideman.blogspot.ca/2013/09/rank-confusion.html

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