International Research Collaboration as Social Relation: An Ethiopian-Canadian Example

Amy Bender, Sepali Guruge, Fekadu Aga, Damen Hailemariam, Ilene Hyman, Melesse Tamiru


International collaboration in nursing and other health disciplines is vital for addressing global health issues. While the results and processes of such collaborations have been reported, few publications have addressed their philosophical or theoretical underpinnings, particularly with respect to collaboration between those in low- and high-income countries. Piaget's notion of social relations of cooperation and constraint and Habermas's notion of "lifeworld" provide a theoretical lens through which to examine international collaboration as a construction of knowledge. This article is an exploration of these ideas as seen in the collective experience of Canadians and Ethiopians organizing an interdisciplinary forum on intimate partner violence in Ethiopia. The project is presented as a case study for reflecting on international collaboration as a manifestation of social relations. Such re-visioning of international collaboration may be useful for improving collaborative processes and their outcomes.

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