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. The IGD programme on South-South cooperation focuses on three of the key themes that presently animate the discourse on the phenomenon. These include: South-south cooperation dynamics; development cooperation in the South; and the club diplomacy of leading southern states. The current project therefore centres on the following:
- Changing dynamics of South-South cooperation
The evolution that is observable in South-South cooperation has not been matched with the corresponding discourse that appreciates the nuances that define this changing phenomenon. As a way of illustration, discussions on the subject continue to take as a starting point the anti-colonial imperative of the 1950s, ignoring the push associated with the global shift in economic power coupled with the need to address shared challenges such as poverty and underdevelopment. This part of the project seeks to unpack the changing dynamics of South-South cooperation in order to enrich our conceptual understanding of the phenomenon.
- South-South cooperation and South Africa’s development assistance agenda
South Africa has signalled its intention to become a major player in the area of development assistance through the still to be launched South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA). Arguably, the success of SADPA would depend to a large extent on how its conceptualisation and subsequent execution resonates with the dynamics that underpin cooperation among countries in the South. The focus of this component of the project is therefore to examine the implications of the current dynamics of South-South cooperation for South Africa’s global South policy, using the policy area of development assistance as a case study.