The latest publication of the Centre for Education Policy addresses current trends and insights from the field of scientific research. The aim behind the study was to provide an informative comparison of policy developments, financing and performance in the three countries which were once part of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia: Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. It explores extensively the degree to which financing as a policy instrument is conducive to the development of scientific research within these countries. The book offers empirical data on research policy, funding and performance, which can be of use for future policymaking in the three countries, as well as useful for international institutions and organisations approaching or seeking to enhance their understanding of the research systems under study.
Using the principal-agent model as the analytical framework, the authors conclude that even though the studied countries had the same departure point – the one of the former Yugoslavia, today, the relationship between the state and research organisations in these countries demonstrate different characteristics. While the Slovenian government has handed over the role of the principal to an independent agency and Croatia is beginning to follow suit, Serbia still operates a basic delegation model, which enables a direct relationship between the policy maker and the research providers. The study also reveals that in the decade after 2000, scientific research in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia followed a convergence trajectory with regard to their main policy lines. This trend is most notably a result of European integration which leads to an increasing emulation of the EU-level policies, but also the result of the recognition that science plays an important role in economic growth. However, path dependency remains an important element of policy development, and therefore the regulatory frameworks of these countries represent a mixture of the Yugoslav socialist legacy and experimentation with new solutions, described as a result of policy learning.