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Europeanisation through the European Universities Initiative: Identity and Higher Education Perspectives

14.07.2021 22:33 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Deadline: September 15, 2021

Communications and media scholars are warmly invited to submit papers for an edited volume/special issue under the working title: "Europeanisation through the European Universities Initiative: Identity and Higher Education Perspectives".


The European Universities Initiative (EUI), launched by the European Commission in 2018 within the Erasmus+ programme to promote further integration in the European Higher Education sector, can be taken as a new object of study in the European political and higher education landscape (Gunn, 2020). The initial pilot phase encourages universities in the first 41 selected "alliances" to aim for a level of cooperation which goes beyond existing actions within the Erasmus+ programme, in order to develop "European campuses" and a shared sense of belonging between partner universities. As such, the initiative raises questions for political scientists, and law scholars interested in the European Union and its institutions, in Higher Education policy, for sociologists and communication scholars working on questions of European identity and intercultural communication, for education scholars and linguists studying the impact of student mobility and multilingual education on learning outcomes.

This call for papers will bring together, in an edited volume or special issue, research which considers the EUI in the light of different forms of Europeanization with which it may be associated (Radaelli, 2003). In one of its core approaches higher education cooperation is positioned in context of political imperatives aiming at promoting 'ever closer union' (Bache, 2006).

In terms of the Europeanization of Higher Education, from an institutional perspective, this may include questions of European-level and national Higher Education policy and the evolving legal framework, but also the way the initiative is being implemented during the pilot phase and the forms of cooperation set up by the universities involved, especially through external incentives (funding) and social learning (Vucasovic, 2013). The Europeanizing potential of the initiative in bringing about or reinforcing the conditions of an "imagined community" of European students and staff is a complementary line of study, including both top-down and bottom-up approaches, in the light of the existing body of literature dealing with European and national identities (Cram, 2009; Frame, 2016; Skey & Antonsich, 2017).


The editors see the forthcoming volume as making an early contribution to scholarship on the EUI in multi-theoretical, multi-dimensional and multi-factor analysis. They welcome conceptual or empirical-based studies on or around the following themes:

Approaching the EUI as an object of scientific study: conceptual and methodological frameworks

  • The EUI in the light of Europeanisation theories: integration / disintegration
  • The EUI in the context of EU public diplomacy and decision-making
  • Europeanizing identities through the EUI
  • The EUI from a legal perspective
  • The EUI in context of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

The political dimension

  • The evolving context of the EHEA and the emergence of the EUI
  • EU stakeholders' politics, policies and discourse on the EUI: from calls to implementation
  • European University Networks (EUNs) between European and national governance: political stakes and tensions experienced around the EUI.

Emerging forms of collaboration within EUNs: case-study-based approaches

  • Organisational perspectives: tensions experienced and solutions found
  • Advanced institutional and staff integration within EUNs
  • Student involvement and emerging forms of cooperation
  • Governance structures adopted within EUNs
  • The challenges of multilingualism and inclusiveness
  • Digitalization and forms of virtual cooperation in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Everyday Europeanhood - building European identities through practice
  • EUNs as learning environments
  • Networking and competition between EUNs.

Future perspectives for the EUI

  • Common higher education strategies: towards a European Degree?
  • Synergies between the EHEA and the European Research Area (ERA): funding the global missions of EUNs
  • The legal status of EUNs: ensuring continuity, enlargement and the future of the EUI
  • Mobility and sustainability in the context of the Green Deal
  • Quality assurance, harmonisation, micro-accreditation.

Paper proposals in English, of around 800 words including a short bibliography, should be sent by email to the editors, Barbara Curyło (bcurylo[at] and Alex Frame (alexander.frame[at], by 1st September 2021. Please contact us also if you wish to receive a pdf version of this cfp.

A seminar for authors will be organised on 17th January 2022, in order to discuss first versions of the papers submitted and to work on the structure and key themes and concepts of the edited volume. No payment will be required from authors for either the publication or the seminar. The editors wish to also use the seminar to formalise a research network around the EUI as a scientific object, with a view to building a consortium for a future research funding proposal.


  • Deadline for abstract submission: 15th September 2021
  • Feedback from editors: 30th September 2021
  • Texts (4000-6000 words) submitted for circulation prior to authors' seminar: 31st December 2021
  • Authors' seminar: 17th January 2022
  • Full texts submitted for publication: 28th February 2022
  • Feedback to authors: 1st June 2022
  • Final versions of texts: 1st September 2022
  • Publication: December 2022



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