The Transnational Politics of Higher Education: Contesting the Global / Transforming the Local, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Transnational Politics of Higher Education

Contesting the Global / Transforming the Local, 1st Edition

Edited by Meng-Hsuan Chou, Isaac Kamola, Tamson Pietsch


200 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-03-23
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This edited volume introduces readers to the relationship between higher education and transnational politics. It shows how higher education is a significant arena for regional and international transformation as well as domestic political struggle replete with unequal power relations.

This volume shows:

  • The causes and impacts of recent transformations in higher education within a transnational context;
  • Emerging similarities in objectives, institutional set-ups, and approaches taking place within higher education institutions across different world regions; 
  • The asymmetrical relations between various kinds of institutional, commercial and state actors across borders;
  • The extent to which historical and colonial legacies are important in the transformation of higher education;
  • The potential effects these developments have on the current structure of international political order.

Drawing on case studies from across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, the contributors develop diverse perspectives explaining the impact of transnational politics on higher education—and higher education on transitional politics—across time and locality. This book is among the first multi-disciplinary effort to wrestle with the question of how we can understand the political role of higher education, and the political force universities exert in the realm of international relations.


'Illuminating the transnational linkages and interconnections that shape higher education in the global age, the contributors offer critical, insightful, and erudite assessments of how universities around the world are adapting to--and resisting--global neoliberal pressures. Comprehensive and accessible, this collection is a transdisciplinary tour de force!' - Manfred B. Steger, Professor of Sociology, University of Hawai'i-Manoa & Honorary Professor of Global Studies, RMIT University

'This book signals a maturation of the global studies of higher education. The authors break from the teleological pro-globalisation and anti-globalisation narratives (the mirror of each other) that still dominate much of the commentary. They provide us with generous theoretical tools and vivid observations that help explain us to understand the global, national and local spaces that we are in—and the spaces that we can make for ourselves.' - Simon Marginson, Director of the ESRC/HEFCE Centre for Global Higher Education, and Professor of International Higher Education at the University College London Institute of Education

Table of Contents

Introduction: the Transnational Politics of Global Higher Education Meng-Hsuan Chou, Isaac A Kamola, and Tamson Pietsch 2 Between the local and the universal: academic worlds and the long history of the university Tamson Pietsch 3 Situating ‘The Global University’ in South Africa Isaac A Kamola 4 The political economy of international higher education and the academic labour in the Persian Gulf Neema Noori 5 ‘We come in peace’: ideology and higher education policy in Latin America J. Salvador Peralta and Thiago Pezzuto Pacheco 6 Contestation over integration and autonomy of universities in the former Yugoslavia: how global and European ideas are used in domestic politics Martina Vukasovic 7 Human-capital strategies to build world-class research universities in Asia: impact on global flows Anju Mary Paul and Victoria Long 8 Administrators and the free movement of researchers in Europe Meng-Hsuan Chou 9 Global University Rankings and Transnational Politics of Higher Education Tero Erkkilä

About the Editors

Meng-Hsuan Chou is Nanyang Assistant Professor in public policy and global affairs at NTU, Singapore and an Associate Fellow at the European Union Centre Singapore. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of European Public Policy, Politics and Governance, and PS: Political Science & Politics.

Isaac Kamola is assistant professor at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. His scholarly work has appeared in International Political Sociology, African Identities, Journal of Higher Education in Africa, British Journal of Political and International Relations, Third World Quarterly, and Transitions as well as a number of edited volumes.

Tamson Pietsch is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the imperial and international histories of universities in the 19th and 20th centuries. She is the author of Empire of scholars: universities, networks and the British Academic world, 1850-1939 (Manchester, 2013).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Global and Transnational Politics

The core theme of the series is ‘global connectivities’ and the implications and outcomes of global and transnational processes in history and in the contemporary world. The series aims to promote greater theoretical innovation and inter-disciplinarity in the academic study of global transformations. The understanding of globalization that it employs accords centrality to forms and processes of political, social, cultural and economic connectivity (and disconnectivity) and relations between the global and the local. The series’ editors see the multi-disciplinary exploration of ‘global connectivities’ as contributing, not only to an understanding of the nature and direction of current global and transnational transformations, but also to recasting the intellectual agenda of the social sciences.

The series aims to publish high quality work by leading and emerging scholars critically engaging with key issues in the study of global and transnational politics. It will comprise research monographs, edited collections and advanced textbooks for scholars, researchers, policy analysts, and students.


Series Editor: Sandra Halperin

Founding Series Editors: Sandra Halperin & Chris Rumford.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General