The Dynamism of Indicators

Wendy Nelson Espeland*, Michael Sauder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

23 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the 'dynamism' of indicators, which depends on several factors. It describes 'successful' indicators as authoritative or significant, since they gather networks of technologies, constituents, and things. It then presents three case studies that study the sets of indicators of higher educational institutions, namely the transnational rankings of business schools, world university rankings, and US law school rankings. This chapter also takes a look at certain psychological and social factors that turn numbers and rankings as transitive, definite, and simplifying heuristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGovernance by Indicators
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Power through Quantification and Rankings
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199949915
ISBN (Print)9780199658244
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012


  • Dynamism
  • Heuristics
  • Higher educational institutions
  • Successful indicators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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