Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Marianne A. Larsen

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Paul Tarc



Given the increasing interconnectivity in today’s globalized world, academics from different disciplines, countries, generations, and cultural backgrounds are urged to work together on common research projects that cross national boundaries. Producing knowledge in collaboration with other scholars internationally has the potential to create rich and groundbreaking research practices to understand complex phenomena. Thus, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of international research collaboration (IRC) among scholars and how this transnational initiative contributes to knowledge production. The theoretical framework of this study draws upon ‘post-foundational’ spatial approaches to inform the analysis of my findings. Post-foundational approaches engage with epistemological pluralism to overcome exclusions and misunderstandings whilst studying IRC knowledge production in different contextual realities. Spatiality approaches illuminate the notion of transnational space as relational, mobile, heterogeneous, and socially produced, which is made up interconnections. This is a multiple-case study that explores and compares practices of IRC knowledge production within and across three distinct research networks, which are linked to universities in two geographical sites, Canada and Colombia. This study involves two methodological approaches: Qualitative social network analysis (SNA) helps to map the configuration of the three distinct research networks and the interconnections between network’s actors, as practices of IRC knowledge production. Foucauldian discourse analysis informs the analysis of my findings to disclose the underpinning disciplinary/interdisciplinary discourses of IRC knowledge production within the networks. This analysis contributes to unveil power/knowledge relations entangled in global/local flows and disjunctures as enablers and constraints of IRC knowledge production. It also helps to illustrate the uneven terrain in which the three research networks are situated. Participants in the three networks include professors, students, and staff members from the universities to which these research networks are tied. Data sources comprise semi-structured interviews and research and policy documents. The study aims addressing a gap in the literature regarding international comparative studies, which explore new qualitative venues from a critical perspective on practices of knowledge production in IRC. It brings new insights about the qualitative nature of these practices to other researchers and policy makers who are interested in internationalization of higher education, specifically in IRC.