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Re-nationalizing European higher education?

by Katja Brøgger, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University

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Tuesday 15 December 2020,  at 11:00 - 12:00




Within the frame of an international workshop The Roles of Universities in European Integration, we would like to invite you to this online lecture. Please register here before 13 December to receive the Zoom link: 


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Using the case of Denmark, this presentation explores how the return of European nationalisms seem to challenge the attempt post-World War II to harmonize European higher education systems through international alliances. These alliances and organizations, such as the OECD and the EU, created an era of unprecedented internationalization following the war. Since the 1990s, the Bologna Process has transformed the European higher education systems through the complex construction of the so-called European Higher Education Area. With the Bologna Process, the EU has sought to forge a fragile EU unity through education. This unity is currently challenged by the turn towards national solutions and the rise of neo-nationalism. In Denmark, this is reflected in recent higher education policy initiatives, such as the drastic reductions in the number of English-language university programs, characterized by subtle alliances between economic nationalism and ethno-nationalism.


  • Brøgger, K. (2020, in press). Chapter 4: A specter is haunting European higher education – the specter of neo-nationalism. In V. Bozalek, M. Zembylas, S. Motala, & D. Hölscher (Eds.), Higher Education Hauntologies: Speaking with ghosts for a justice-to-come: London: Routledge.
  • Brøgger, K. (2019). ‘The Bologna Process: From Hard Government to Soft Governance’ (Chapter 3). In Governing through Standards: the Faceless Masters of Higher Education. The Bologna Process, the EU and the Open Method of Coordination. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Gingrich, A. (2006). Neo-nationalism and the reconfiguration of Europe. Social Anthropology, 14(2), 195-217.
  • López-Alves, F. (2019). Populist Nationalism in Europe and the Americas. Past, Present, and Future. In F. López-Alves & D. E. Johnson (eds), Pupulist Nationalism in Europe and the Americas. New York: Routledge.