Habilitation in the scholars’ career model. Institutional and mental conditions for acceptance and rejection
Habilitation is the key, but not sole element of the academic career in contemporary Poland. Upon attaining this position one transits between two distinct stages of the academic life: from subordination to primacy, from relative impairment to privilege. The problem of habilitation has been gaining importance over the last two decades in the context of such phenomena as generation gap and the need for efficient use of intellectual potential of the academic staff . The controversial character of habilitation is revealed by the criticism of this procedure, questioning of its rules and, in extreme cases, demands of its complete abolition. Opponents attack habilitation pointing to the pathologies of the archaic model of academic career. Its advocates focus more on the role of habilitation in the system of higher education as a guarantee of the high level of knowledge and academic skills. In our research, we note that the arguments supporting the abolition of habilitation revolve both around the criteria of its granting and those of efficiency and rationality of the process. We describe these motifs as the procedural dimension. The opposite (structural) dimension focuses on issues of hierarchy, its importance for the maintenance of order, continuation of the system and the social roles of young researchers with particular emphasis on the normative dimension (motivation and ethos).