22 SES 10 A, International Academic Collaboration In The Era Of Networks
The increasing importance of networks as a social form of communication and organizing logic does not imply the end of traditional forms of society. Tensions between the global and the local increase the importance of traditional society which provides “a major source of the structuration of power relationships” as Castells (2009, 50) puts it. This is especially true with higher education institutions which traditionally have been places for connecting resources and new ideas with people (academics and students). An interesting philosophical idea to describe the relationship between hierarchical organizations and networks is a rhizome as introduced by Deleuze (1996). For Deleuze, hierarchical organizations are tree-like organizations with clearly defined organizational structures and hierarchies, whereas rhizomes are social processes that follow certain logic but do not have a structure. However, these two different life forms exist simultaneously and may be tied together, because rhizomes live among the roots of the trees and trees have rhizome-like small roots. As for higher education, these metaphors challenge us to think about higher education institutions as trees with established organizations, but totally dependent on the rhizome-like cooperation, taking place in and through research and teaching collaboration and cooperation both locally, nationally and internationally.
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