The History and Impacts of Cultural and Educational Exchanges Between Rival Societies

  • Jonathan Spangler
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


Cultural and educational exchanges are widely recognized today for the benefits they bring to the individuals and institutions involved. Advances in transportation, communications, and information technologies have transformed what was once an activity accessible only to a select few into one that is feasible for an increasing percentage of the world’s population. Although most exchanges take place between states and societies that are diplomatically and politically friendly to one another, cultural and educational exchanges between rival states and societies have become increasingly common and visible, particularly over the past 70 years. In their myriad forms, such exchanges have the potential not only to affect the individuals and institutions involved but also their communities and societies at large. To serve as a foundation for the chapters that follow, this chapter first outlines the emergence of cultural and educational exchange programs in the twentieth century, which are often inspired by ideas of ancient origin, catalyzed by the academic formalization of their ideals, adapted to modern institutional frameworks, and influenced by emerging issues that will continue to reshape the world in the coming years. It then highlights the two faces of cultural and educational exchanges, first covering the positive effects, which include their potential to reveal common humanity, reduce mistrust, challenge stereotypes, and inspire critical reflexivity. It then discusses the negative effects of exchanges between rival societies, which include their possibility to advance ulterior political motives, reinforce prejudices, miscalculate needs and impacts, encourage human capital imbalances, and threaten the availability of local employment opportunities. The chapter then concludes with a discussion of the aims of the book and a look ahead at the significant role of cultural and educational exchanges in the years to come.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Spangler
    • 1
  1. 1.Asia-Pacific Policy Research AssociationTaipeiTaiwan

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