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Global South Lecture Series | Sinah Kloß (Bonn) - Unmapping the "Global South": Reflections on a Heuristic Concept

15.04.2021, 18:15-19:45

Sinah Kloß (Bonn)
Unmapping the "Global South": Reflections on a Heuristic Concept

The use of the term and concept “Global South” is en vogue. Over the past decades, the number of publications, journals, and institutions that refer to the Global South as a mode of framing and labelling has increased significantly. It is frequently applied as a substitute for the term and concept “Third World,” evoking, amongst other things, notions of poverty and (under-)development. This problematic use of the concept is not exceptional but rather continues to be its most common use in academic publications and public discourse today. The Global South seems to be regarded as the most politically correct term vis-à-vis Third World and “Developing Countries,” at least among those who fail to recognize the inherent biases reproduced by such a generalized use of the concept. In this presentation, I provide an overview of the different definitions of Global South and discuss them with regard to current theoretical discourse. I argue that the Global South, when not simplistically referred to in terms of geography, has potential to consolidate and empower the various social actors that consider themselves to be in subalternized positionalities of global networks of power.