CALL FOR PAPERS | ESC | Transatlantic Mobility in the New Geopolitics of Knowledge: (Inter)Dependencies in Higher Education Brazil/Portugal

Special issue – Educação, Sociedade & Culturas
Transatlantic Mobility in the New Geopolitics of Knowledge: (Inter)Dependencies in Higher Education Brazil/Portugal

Extended abstracts (of up to 700 words, excluding references) due on June 30, 2024

Guest Editors
Professor Marcelo Parreira do Amaral, University of Münster, Germany
Professor Wivian Weller, University of Brasília, Brazil 
Professor Tiago Neves, University of Porto, Portugal

Special issue aims and scope 
Academic mobility between Brazil and Portugal has always been a topic of interest to researchers in the field of higher education on both sides of the Atlantic. Until the foundation of Brazil's first higher education institutions (HEIs), Portugal remained the main destination for higher academic training (Cunha, 2007). At the end of the 20th century, the number of students and faculty members who undertook international exchanges increased exponentially, and both countries invested in promoting and funding international mobility with the aim of offering new experiences and knowledge (bilateral and multilateral agreements, international programmes and institutional agreements). More recently, with a greater focus on the internationalisation of higher education, the international exchange of students, teachers and researchers has received even more attention. While academic exchange has been promoted as a mode of study with a plurality of thoughts, scientific trends and worldviews, contributing to the formation of citizens with a global perspective, international mobility has also come to be seen as a source of income for HEIs and as national investment (economic and soft power diplomacy) (Li, 2018; Hartmann, 2015, 2008).
    Internationally, research in education, and especially in the field of higher education, has been dedicated to the topic, contributing to the debate on this new form of international exchange that is more economical and instrumental (Altbach & Knight, 2007; Rizvi, 2019, 2013; Robertson et al., 2016). However, the topic has received less attention from a critical perspective on the commercialisation of education, especially from a decolonial/post-colonial perspective (Mignolo 2002; Reiter 2019). Nevertheless, in recent years, comparative research on higher education has provided fruitful discussions on these transformations, coining the term geopolitics of knowledge (Parreira do Amaral & Thompson, 2022). The term links two perspectives on the subject: on the one hand, the commercial interest in international higher education, and on the other, the need to overcome old colonial structures and practices and combat new types of dependency.
    New Geopolitics of Knowledge "refers to the integration of higher education into the imagination and calculations of different agents with the aim of affirming and/or improving their positions in the knowledge-based global economy" (Parreira do Amaral 2022, p. 36) The term also refers to a discussion from the early 1990s, in which several scholars referred to the 'geopolitics of knowledge' to criticise what some characterised as a "Eurocentric critique of modernity" (Dussel 1993; Mignolo 2002). According to Walter Mignolo, the planetary expansion of Western capitalism also implied the expansion of Western epistemology (Mignolo 2002, p. 59) and possibly of the social sciences. From this perspective, it is necessary to examine whether and how international exchange structures in higher education may be maintaining and/or creating new colonial structures and practices.
    Due to the historical links that mark the socio-cultural formation of both countries, transatlantic mobility between Brazil and Portugal offers us an opportunity to expressively understand the legacies and current challenges of higher education, taking the new geopolitics of knowledge as a reference point. From a comparative and international perspective, the special issue sets out to analytically and empirically discuss transatlantic mobility and academic exchange between Brazil and Portugal, addressing, among others, the following topics: 

  1. Epistemological and political relations and confrontations: The nature and character of the postgraduate programmes' curricula, epistemological positions and interpersonal relations in both countries will be discussed. What contribution do these elements make to overcoming and/or reproducing (neo)colonial structures, injustice and symbolic and material violence? What forms, discourses and/or performative practices (among others) are encountered?

  2. Joint Mobility Structures and Actions between Brazil and Portugal: This focus examines the structures and modalities of exchange open to different groups (doctoral students, post-doctoral students, teachers); the experiences and rationalities of exchange students, teaching staff, and those responsible for the institutional structures of internationalisation at some universities.

  3. Transatlantic Mobility in Doctorates, Theses and Themes: Transatlantic mobility is focused on its results, i.e., theses and themes in doctoral research. What do we know about the results (completion, dropout, etc.)? What theoretical perspectives are adopted in the final theses of postgraduate programmes in education? What are their themes?

Important dates
●    Submission of extended abstracts (up to 700 words, excluding references): June 30, 2024
●    Notification of selected abstracts: July 31, 2024
●    Submission of full manuscript (up to 7000 words, in total): November 31, 2024
●    Publication: 2025 

Submission instructions
Interested authors should submit their extended abstracts (up to 700 words, excluding references) by 31 March 2024. Following ES&C Journal policies, authors can submit their texts in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. The contribution must be original, unpublished and cannot be under review or submitted for publication in another journal. 
The abstracts must be sent to with guest editor Marcelo Parreira do Amaral in Cc ( 

About ESC
ESC is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published three times a year by the Centre for Research and Intervention in Education (CIIE) of the University of Porto, Portugal.
Seeking to establish and expand the dialogue between cultures and interdisciplinary perspectives and contribute to qualifying the public debate around educational and social problems, ESC welcomes submissions of original work based on empirically grounded research supported by a strong theoretical and methodological component.
Publication in this journal is completely free of charge for authors, and there are no submission, processing, or publication costs or fees.
An overview of the journal is accessible at
Please contact the guest co-editor Marcelo Parreira do Amaral ( for additional information about this special issue.

About the Invited Organizers
Marcelo Parreira do Amaral is Professor of International and Comparative Education at the University of Münster, Germany and Visiting Professor at the University of Turku, Finland. His main research interests include comparative international education, comparative higher education, education policy, international educational governance, and their implications for educational trajectories, in particular issues of access and equity in education. Latest Publications: “Geopolitical Transformations in Higher Education. Imagining, Fabricating and Contesting Innovation.” Edited volume with Christiane Thompson. Educational Governance Research Series (Springer International, 2022). “The Education Systems of the Americas.” Edited Handbook with Sieglinde Jornitz (Springer International, Global Education Systems Series, 2021). Zelinka, J. Parreira do Amaral, M. Benasso, S. König, J. 2023. Citizenship in Times of Crises – Crisis of Citizenship? De Europa European and Global Studies Journal 6(2): 17–40. doi: 10.13135/2611-853X/7134.

Wivian Weller is Full Professor of Sociology of Education at the Faculty of Education of the University of Brasília – UnB (Brazil) and a Research Productivity Fellow at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq. Her studies and research focus on the following topics: Comparative studies on high school and its exams; Educational guidelines and life projects for young people in different contexts; Sociology of Knowledge and Qualitative Methodologies, with emphasis on the Documentary Method. Latest Publications: Severo, R., Weller, W. Socialização política de jovens no ensino médio (Revista Cocar, 2023); Weller, W., Evangelista, J. R. Student mobility of college students from former public high schools: experiences within the Science without Borders Program (Pro-Posições, 2022); Weller, W. Enem e Gaokao: repercussões no ensino médio e na educação superior (Em Aberto, 2021 – Special Issue).

Tiago Neves is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto and a researcher at CIIE – Centre for Educational Research and Intervention. His main research interests are the different manifestations of the relationship between socioeconomic inequalities and educational inequalities, namely access to higher education and the effectiveness of compensatory education programmes. Latest publications: “Landscapes of Lifelong Learning Policies across Europe – Comparative Case Studies”, edited volume with Sebastiano Benasso, Dejana Bouillet e Marcelo Parreira do Amaral, 2022 Palgrave Macmillan. He has published articles in journals such as YOUNG, Thinking Skills and Creativity, International Journal of Lifelong Education, Current Sociology, The Qualitative Report and International Studies in the Sociology of Education.

Altbach, Philip G., & Knight, Jane (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3-4), 290–305. 
Cunha, Luiz Antônio (2007). A universidade temporã: O ensino superior, da Colônia à Era Vargas (3.ª ed.). UNESP.
Dussel, Enrique (1993). Eurocentrism and modernity (Introduction to the Frankfurt lectures). Boundary 2, 20(3), 65–76. 
Hartmann, Eva (2008). Bologna goes global: A new imperialism in the making? Globalisation, Societies and Education, 6(3), 207–220. 
Li, Jian (2018). Conceptualizing soft power of higher education: Globalization and universities in China and the world. Springer Nature Singapore.
Marginson, Simon (2018, July 19). The UK in the global student market: Second place for how much longer? Centre for Global Higher Education. 
Mignolo, Walter D. (2002). The geopolitics of knowledge and the colonial difference. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 101(1), 57–96. 
Parreira do Amaral, Marcelo (2022). Imagining and transforming higher education: Knowledge production in the new geopolitics of knowledge. In Marcelo Parreira do Amaral & Christiane Thompson (Eds.), Geopolitical transformations in higher education: Imagining, constructing and contesting innovation (pp. 35–51). Springer International.
Parreira do Amaral, Marcelo, & Thompson, Christiane (Eds.). (2022). Geopolitical transformations in higher education: Imagining, constructing and contesting innovation. Springer International.
Reiter, Bernd (Ed.). (2019). Constructing the pluriverse: The geopolitics of knowledge. Duke University Press.
Rizvi, Fazal (2013). Equity and marketisation: A brief commentary. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 34(2), 274-278.  
Rizvi, Fazal (2019, October 12). Marketisation weakens the public diplomacy role of HE. University World News. 
Robertson, Susan L., Olds, Kris, Dale, Roger, & Anh Dang, Que (Eds.). (2016). Global regionalisms and higher education: Projects, processes, politics. Edward Elgar.