Guus Dix is Assistant Professor ‘Digitalization of Higher Education’ at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS, BMS). Before, he worked at Leiden University, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (Cologne, Germany) and Maastricht University. Guus studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Amsterdam and defended his PhD there in 2014.
As an economic sociologist and sociologist of science, he works on digital data practices in the governance of higher education, especially as they relate to ‘excellence’ and ‘relevance’ as objects of political and managerial intervention. Extending upon his previous research, he develops a new line of research on the measurement of societal impact in relation to its political, institutional and practical ramifications.
Combining research and teaching with strategic intelligence, Guus has been involved in several projects that helped administrators, research funders and policymakers move forward. As the project leader of a research consortium, he evaluated the Horizon2020 Focus Area approach for the European Commission. In his projects on biomedicine, he contributed to public and organizational discussions about recognition and reward systems in academia.
Guus' overall ambition is to understand how the development of knowledge about human behavior intersects with the wielding of power – in several historical contexts as well as in its present-day manifestation.
In a first research project, this led him to qualitatively study the place of economic expertise in Dutch politics. More in particular, he analyzed how economists construct predictions about the distant future and how these economic predictions then circulate in educational policymaking.
In a subsequent research project, he focused on the reliance on numbers in the management of the life sciences. Studying two University Medical Centers in the Netherlands in-depth, he particularly analyzed the bottom-up support for – and problematization of – the rule of performance indicators in biomedicine.
Currently, Guus is developing a new line of research about the recent rise of impact-oriented thinking and action in higher education. In future research projects, he aims to study the development of digital data practices related to ‘societal impact’ in relation to the work of researchers, administrators and politicians to increase the impact of science.
Since his PhD research, Guus has been intrigued by the proliferation of ‘incentives’ in the public and private sectors. Over the past four decades, incentives have become a taken-for-granted term and tool in managerial and political practices . In Incentives: A Genealogy, a dissertation turned book project, he explores how subsequent expert groups have contributed to the development of ‘incentivization’ as a framework to understand human behavior and a set of instruments to act upon it.
With over fifteen years of teaching experience, Guus has been involved in a variety of bachelor and master programmes. At the University of Amsterdam and Maastricht University, he has designed, coordinated and taught courses ranging from (Eastern) European history, EU policymaking, political theory and qualitative methodology to the history and philosophy of (social) science. He has supervised numerous bachelor and master theses.
At the University of Twente, Guus is responsible for the Bachelor Circle 'Between technocracy and post-truth: Understanding evidence-based policy'.