International research collaboration (IRC) has been on the global governance agenda since the mid-20th century, gaining steam especially after the Cold War and the rise of neoliberalism in the 1990s. As a means to promote social, intellectual, and economic development in the global South, North-South research collaborations have been encouraged in discourse and practice by development agencies, education ministries, and prestigious universities around the world. This study takes the case of Brazil to investigate how researchers perceive the role of collaboration in mitigating or reproducing North-South power imbalances, and what these perceptions reveal about the potential of IRC in bridging the global knowledge gap. Drawing on primary data obtained through 26 in-depth interviews with Brazilian and Northern researchers, this study identifies macrostructural, intermediate, and individual factors that have shaped their experiences. Two issues stand out: knowledge dissemination challenges; and the individualization of advantages, both of which speak to opportunities as well as limitations of North-South collaboration in fostering capacity building in the South.
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