Hegemony in global rankings: A Gramscian analysis of bibliometric indices and ranking results


BELENKUYU C., KARADAĞ E.

COLLNET JOURNAL OF SCIENTOMETRICS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT, vol.16, no.2, pp.253-277, 2022 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09737766.2022.2106165
  • Journal Name: COLLNET JOURNAL OF SCIENTOMETRICS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.253-277
  • Keywords: University rankings, Academic capitalism, Hegemony, Bibliometric index, Gramsci, UNIVERSITY RANKINGS, WORLD, ACADEMICS, TOP
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Research in academic university rankings mainly focuses on the methodological improvements in ranking or concern the practice, not the principle. There is a tendency in the core literature of rankings that they are ontologically accepted as reality-reflecting phenomena. However, this research tries a political analysis of ranking systems as hegemonic governing apparatus within the Gramscian Theory of Hegemony framework. For this purpose, we analyzed the top 100 lists of global university rankings and indices used in the rankings as research indicator sources. Even if this research is designed as political analysis, we integrated statistical findings to reveal the hegemonic oligarchs in rankings. The results show that there is a dominance of the USA and major Western European countries in ranking results and indices in terms of possession of journals. Moreover, correlation analysis gives evidence that different ranking system results reproduce a pre-given hierarchy. Drawing on Gramsci, the article resists the view of rankings as apolitical, subjective performance criteria of educational value, instead makes the rankings open to discussion in the realm of contestable politics as valuation and hierarchization tools of academic capitalist and neoliberalist forces to shape higher education globally within the frames of the best model, defined by global elites.