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Internationalisation under intractable conflict: The influence of national conflict on Israeli higher education institutions’ internationalisation efforts

Wed, March 28, 5:00 to 6:30pm, Museo de Arte Popular, Floor: Ground Floor, Auditorium


Intractable conflicts are usually defined as long-lasting, violent, inter-group ones perceived as having no foreseen solutions. Such conflicts heavily affect the societies involved, which invest massive resources in all issues related to the conflict, including various educational elements (Halperin & Bar Tal, 2011). Regardless of the context of national conflict, internationalisation efforts have become a common reality in the strategy and actions of contemporary higher education institutions, with international, intercultural, and global dimensions integrating into the aims, functions, and delivery of education (Yemini, 2014). This presentation traces the internationalisation process as perceived among various stakeholders involved in policy making and enactment within a society struggling through intractable conflict, namely Israel. I scrutinized this process in Israel and explored the apparent mismatch between the theory of internationalisation and its practice in the reality of a conflict-ridden society. The study of policy and policy enactment related to internationalisation processes in Israel seems tightly connected to the reality of life within a high-intensity intractable conflict, involving its ethnic, religious, and social repercussions. In this article I analyse the discourse about internationalisation in Israel. I argue for a paradigm shift in the theory of internationalisation at Israeli higher education institutions (HEIs) from its current perception as an academic-driven process based on academic, social, political and financial rationales to a process affected by the conflict and shaped and reshaped by conflict-related issues. I call for the development of a theory on internationalisation in intractable conflict-ridden societies and suggest novel directions for research.


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