chapter  5
Constructing transnational partnerships
New forms and spaces for internationalization in East African universities
ByJackline Nyerere, Milton Obamba
Pages 11

Over the last two decades the concept of “partnership” has become a prominent feature in the discourse and architecture of modern political, academic, and development thought and practice around the world. Partnerships spanning diverse organizational and geographical boundaries have clearly emerged as the dominant paradigm for organizing innovative knowledge production, strengthening institutional capacities, and enacting international development policy. This chapter draws on preliminary findings emerging from an ongoing study of transnational partnerships involving public and private universities in Kenya and Uganda to examine the varied processes, structures, and relations involved in the construction and governance of boundary-spanning partnerships. We suggest that the formation and development of transnational partnerships involve a range of complex processes and considerations, including initiation, planning, management, and structural integration, all of which entail the need to build mutual trust and establish common grounds. We argue further that the formation, purposes, and structure of partnerships can take a wide variety of forms and can evolve and adapt over time, whereas informalized personal connections and interactions remain critical for partnership initiation, development, and sustainability.