Since?2000 in France, major transformations have affected the regulation of the academic field. The creation of national agencies – such as the French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education (AERES) – goes along with a significant codification of academic assessment practices. If the establishment of evaluation standards has sparked debate and controversy, their impact on scientific judgment has not yet been fully investigated. Based on qualitative and quantitative data, this paper analyses how evaluators in the disciplines of literature and geography mobilise a set of heterogeneous resources to build their judgment, and how they enforce their disciplinary standards within a very constrained evaluation framework. A comprehensive approach of academic assessment in AERES shows that this assessment is not reducible to one of the two ideal types of judgment – peer review, standardized assessment – which might be presented as antagonists. Actually, within the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), some evaluators incorporate the AERES standards in order to reposition their discipline in the academic field, while others protect their professionalism by circumventing the standardized criteria. Analyzing the mechanisms by which the members of two disciplines tend to invalidate the Agency’s norms or conform to its value scale, this papers reflects on the way academics (re)define the legitimacy of their professional practices when the rules of scientific consecration are subject to normalization.
- Evaluation agency
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- professional legitimacy