My congratulations to the team behind the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina (MESO). I received a short overview of the work of this joint venture between Argentina’s University of San Andrés and Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, outside Chicago, and wanted to applaud their work – or more specifically – their idea.
Too often we think of international collaboration as necessarily a global network of many nodes, but MESO seems to have taken advantage of specific faculty connections between two universities to create a focused collaboration that is a win-win for both institutions.
As you can see from their 2019 Annual Report, they are making progress on a number of fronts, including publications, outreach, and networking that are impressive. You don’t have to be global to internationalise an institution, and MESO shows you how. It just takes two core units with support from a larger community of institutions, such as on their advisory board.
Obviously, there is a cost to international collaboration. It takes time and energy from other activities. But those with a commitment to comparative and international research generally see the payoffs of this collaboration to justify the costs. Congratulations to the co-directors of MESO, Eugenia Mitchelstein and Pablo J. Boczkowski for providing such a coherent and innovative example for others in communication and really any field that benefits from international collaboration.