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May 15 , 2009

Confucius and Crisis in American Universities

Culture, Capital, and Diplomacy in U.S. Public Higher Education


China’s investment in U.S. higher education has raised considerable debate, but little research has been directed to the manner in which this investment unfolds and takes shape on the ground in local contexts. Confucius and Crisis in American Universities fills this gap by closely investigating how Chinese-funded U.S. programs are understood and configured in the modern American university. Drawing on interviews with Chinese teachers and their American students, as well as conversations with university administrators, this book argues that Chinese investment in American higher education serves as a broad form of global policy, harnessing the power of intercultural exchange as a means of managing international diplomatic relations through the experiences of university students.

A transnational study, Confucius and Crisis in American Universities questions and reframes conventional notions of economic globalization and flexible citizenship, demonstrating how Chinese investment in U.S. education advances the lives of the already-privileged by creating access to overseas labor and markets, but to the exclusion of middle- and working-class students. A valuable and timely resource for scholars of education and anthropology, this book will also be useful to anyone interested in education policy or international affairs.

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