The New Politics of Partnership: Peril or Promise?
NORRAG News #41

The New Politics of Partnership: Peril or Promise?

December 2008

The concept of partnership has been ‘en vogue’ for quite some time when defining relations between donors, universities and individual researchers around the world. Universities are looking for international partners for a variety of strategic or opportunistic reasons. They wish to combine each other’s strength in teaching and/or research, to exchange staff and students, to get access to brains, funds and markets, to diversify their student population and faculty, and to become part of the global academic arena. Development donors meanwhile see the concept of 'partnership' as the preferred mode of collaboration in which institutions are linked by a common cause and agreed collaborative agreements.

A number of questions come to mind when looking at the policy and practice of partnerships: What is meant by partnership? Who are the partners? What are their roles? What interests are at stake? And how to balance them? Who decides for whom and to what purpose a partnership is established? Can partnerships be sustained; under what conditions? These are just some of the questions that are raised in the contributions in this issue of NORRAG News. 

Contents include: 

  • History, Philosophy, Perils and Promise of Partnership
  • Partnerships in Context
  • Knowledge Development Via Agency Partnerships?
  • Partnership Seen from the South
  • NORRAG News and Conferences