‘West is must, the rest is optional’: epistemic injustice and positional good in international research collaboration

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The global research system is pluralising as more researchers and institutions around the world contribute to knowledge creation. However, global research remains highly unequal because of the hegemonic influence yielded by Global North/West. The unequal dynamics impact the dynamics of international research collaboration (IRC). Through in-depth qualitative interviews, this study investigates the dynamics of epistemic injustice, positional good and hegemony in IRC. The data are collected from the Turkish higher education system because its unique position at the Global North/West and South/East borders can make the distinctions and inequalities more visible. Findings indicate that Fricker’s (2007) epistemic injustice and Hirsch’s (1976) positional competition are crucial factors in creating or reinforcing hegemony in IRC. A strong value is attached to collaborating with Global Northern/Western scholars or institutions. IRC with the West seems to procure a higher epistemic value. The higher epistemic value increases positional competition to collaborate with those in the Global North/West. Also, funding obtained from the Global North/West is seen as more credible and valuable, reinforcing the main argument for the higher epistemic value and positional good ascribed to IRC with the Global West/North.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education
Early online date24 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Epistemic injustice
  • Global research system
  • International research collaboration
  • Positional competition
  • Turkey


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