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Analysing New European Diplomatic Practices in Times of Crisis and Transition: the EU Exerting an Ideational Power Beyond its Frontiers?

Francis Espinoza Figueroa

Even though, European integration and Europeanisation of higher education are expected to face increased obstacles at times of crisis, the EU as an ideational actor has a significant impact on non-European countries.Europe is considered as a 'model-maker' or 'model-offerer' impacting on Latin American HE from the 'birth' of universities there, whilst Latin America has been seen as a traditional 'model-taker'.The EU seen as a 'global teacher' (Adelman 2009, 170) refers to a notion of the Union spreading and exporting its model beyond the geographical boundaries of Europe. It presents a powerful image of the EU as an international actor, endorsed it with a special capability, a force that manifests a pedagogic potential for establishing its (external) relationships. Therefore, its power is not 'deposited' in its material capabilities for exerting physical strength, but rather it is to be found in its ability to structure/organise, (to shape) knowledge. This paper examines the growth of European ideas circulating throughout the field of Latin American Higher Education (HE), as part of the Bologna Process, which has manifested itself in a set of procedures, methods and tools that have contributed to the transformation of Chilean and Mexican HE. This phenomenon requires a rigorous analysis of European ideational factors present within Normative Power Europe (NPE), not only through a cluster of ideas, norms, principles and values but also through analysing language.

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