SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

South-South Development Cooperation 3.0? Changes in the Decade Ahead

Dr Emma Mawdsley (University of Cambridge)

Date: 29 January 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 29 January 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)

Type of Event: Seminar

The last decade or so has been a period of remarkable success for the actors, ideas and practices of South-South Cooperation. First, the number of Southern development partners has grown, and collectively they have significantly increased their development finances and programmes. Second, they have consolidated and defended the claim to doing development differently. Third, they have achieved recognition as essential partners within the international development community. This expansionary phase of South-South Cooperation followed five decades of Third World-ist, socialist and non-aligned development solidarities, achievements and setbacks, which were largely peripheral to the hegemonic institutions and ideologies of mainstream ‘international development’. In this paper I suggest that a third phase is now opening up in South-South Cooperation. Global factors are an important driver, particularly the end of the commodities super cycle and the contagion of the global financial crisis. So too are specific domestic issues, such as the risks presented by China’s debt, or Brazil’s economic and political crisis. Here though I focus on the successes of the last decade as important drivers of change currently unfolding in SSC agendas, narratives, modalities and institutions. I suggest that South-South Cooperation in the decade ahead will be characterised by a more pragmatic, outcome-oriented narrative framing than in previous phases; will experience greater difficulty in maintaining claims to non-interference; and will generally show less ideational and operational distinction from more ‘established’ donors in what is a more polycentric development field.


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South-South Development Cooperation 3.0? Changes in the Decade Ahead


Emma Mawdsley is a Reader in the Geography Department, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Newnham College. Her earlier work was focussed on regional and environmental politics in India; but for the last decade or so she has researched South-South Development Cooperation. Most recently, she has a growing interest in how the (so-called) 'traditional' donors are responding to the challenges and opportunities opening up in a turbulent 'development' landscape.

Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail

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