““Soft power” and “educational diplomacy”: International exchange programs as mechanisms of educational governance”
Pages 120 – 144
Educational exchanges are practices with long history. During the recent decades they have acquired additional importance, either as instruments of public diplomacy or as internationalization activities of educational institutions and systems, and they have attracted the attention of comparative and international education research. This paper examines structured international education exchanges as actions of public diplomacy and as instruments of educational governance, seeking to understand their complexity and multilevel functions. Our approach assumes that contemporary educational / public diplomacy of exchanges is an aspect of “soft power” policies and therefore is an activity of governance, mobilizing actors from various structures and networks under and beyond the state / government “umbrella”. It attempts, through this lens, to perceive the functions of education exchanges and their connection to traditional and emerging “spaces” of policy and practice formation, communication and reform.