Conceptualizing Cultural Internationalization

The implementation of the 21st century spheres of internationalization is heavily affected by the cultural environment. In fact, many choices made by nation-states or hyper-national entities are the consequences of the internationalization politics, which have led to conflicts with its associated -inter alia- cultural insolences, particularly in recent years. Mainly, these conflicts stem from a misinterpretation and confusion of the impacts of cultural internationalization. Moreover, internationalizing actions or arrangements generate high level of uncertainty due to the lack of cultural knowledge, cultural awareness and/or to the neo-colonial practice of extending power and hegemony. To some degree, the neo-colonialism mechanism primarily occurred in the economic sphere, which is determined by the political, social, educational and cultural systems.

The world has been subjugated via a Hegelian eurocentric system deployed by the Global North; this world has been normalised, colonized, prolonged and reinforced by the hyperactive production and consumption of the so-called industries of the western culture.

The real issue of decolonisation is therefore one of change in the socio-economic and cultural paradigm. By generating an emancipatory discourse for cultural Internationalization, the political paradigm may therefore lead to the disintegration of the (post)modern neo-colonial regime.

In view of this, interculturalism offers a key to understand the importance of cultural knowledge.  Meanwhile, it explains why the modern nation-states should plan and implement culturally competent discourses in order to adapt processes, as well as social developments to different cultures.

This approach requires an explorative critical approach aimed at interpreting the knowledge of tangible and intangible manifestations of local/national culture and values as a key of paramount importance to understand distant/international cultures.

The relationship between cultural internationalisation and politics should intensively be explored. There is an emerging body of theoretical literature and pragmatic mark that features the role played by cultural reasons in shaping the internationalization process in our epoch. Despite all hard work, however, the association between degree of internationalization and culture is still the theme of current argumentation following unsettled conclusions.

This working paper aims at processing the concept of cultural internationalization in order to enable an approximate measurement of its existence in a period of critical transformations. To do so, a conceptual framework covering criteria of interculturalism and decolonization of the power is established and applied.