Global South, beyond the State

Global South beyond the StateOver the last decade, we have witnessed many changes within the field of international cooperation for development, among which are the discussion of a new development agenda (the newly adopted sustainable development goals), the defining of new ways to improve aid effectiveness, and especially the renewed strength and visibility of methods for South-South cooperation (SSC), with the potential to reshape the international scene.

Inspired by the principles of Bandung, which gave rise to the non-aligned movement, the SSC framework defends respect for sovereignty and non-interference as a basis for action. It proposes technical cooperation at a remove from those conditionalities that often permeate North-South relations, allowing new forms of solidarity and development opportunities for developing countries. One of the first consequences of this is an opening of the international space to more pluralistic voices that may be involved in defining global agendas. What once was decided between a select group of rich countries meeting at the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, today has to include countries such as China, India and Brazil, among other emerging powers. The global South thereby acquires more space in global arenas: a breakthrough in a highly unequal international system.


About The Project

Funded by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA), the project focuses on the changing dynamics and implications of South- South cooperation, in the context of South Africa's avowed commitment to this cause in its international relations. The need to understand the complexities of South-South dynamics and their implications for foreign policy is particularly urgent for South Africa, which, while working to advance South-South multilateralism, must also contend with the corresponding need to remain true to other universal values underpinning its foreign policy as well as guarantee the specific interests of its immediate environment, that is, the African continent.

Key Themes

In recent times, South-South cooperation has received renewed attention, inspired mainly by the emergence of new southern clubs such as IBSA, BRICS and CELAC. This trend reflects a growing push by developing countries to respond to current global challenges in a coherent and concerted manner.


Aims and Objectives of The Project

The aim of the project is therefore to contribute, through critical research and dialogue, towards a nuanced understanding of contemporary South-South cooperation. In particular, it seeks to appreciate the basis on which countries in the South cooperate or compete with one another, and the implication of these dynamics for South Africa's policy.


Contact details
Address:   3rd Floor Robert Sobukwe Building
263 Nana Sita Street
South Africa

PO Box 14349
The Tramshed
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      Telephone:   +2712 337 6082
      Fax:   +2786 212 9442
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