Edited by Yasushi Watanabe
Chapter 18: Higher education as a soft power in international relations
This chapter assesses soft power effects of international educaton focusing on international branch campuses (IBCs). The author first critically examine the concept of soft power and its connection to higher education. She emphasizes the normative dimension which always characterizes the power of attraction. Secondly, she shows that different values do not necessarily produce attraction or indifference for other actors: difference can also be perceived as a threat. She discuss the concept of normative threat, showing that context is crucial for understanding it. Thirdly, using existing research the author attempts to assess the impact of IBCs and answer the question: ‘To what extent are they sources of soft power for countries and institutions which they represent?’. This chapter shows that IBCs do not automatically produce soft power: their impact depends on the context in which they operate, on the quality of programme they offer, and on the attitude towards students which they represent.
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