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HP16 - The Global South and the return of geopolitics

Convened by Wil Hout (Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague

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Recent international political events have made it clear that geopolitical concerns have returned to the fore in international relations. The war in Ukraine, the presence of China in the South China Sea and the recent Chinese military activities around Taiwan are the most visible manifestations of geopolitics today, but the return of geopolitics is visible also across the global South. In Africa, China, Russia and France try to woo allies, while the European Union adopted a new, “comprehensive” Africa strategy in 2020. While engaged in a military operation in Ukraine, Russia has increased its military presence in Central Asia by organising a military drill in Siberia that includes China, India, Belarus and a set of Central Asian states. While Latin America was traditionally considered to be the US’s “backyard”, China has increased its economic and security presence in a number of countries in the continent, most notably Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.

The inclusion of a panel on the return of geopolitics in the EADI general conference “Towards New Rhythms of Development” is timely because the development studies community needs to analyse the implications of the greater manifestation of geopolitical dynamics across the global South, including the implications that these dynamics may have for the development strategies and prospects of individual countries and regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This workshop intends to provide a platform for researchers working on geopolitics and the global South. Papers are invited that assess the return of geopolitics in selected regions and/or countries in the global South, and offer a critical assessment of the implications of the geopolitical dynamics for the development prospects of specific countries or regions. In particular, the interaction among diplomatic, security, economic and social dimensions of emerging geopolitical relationships would provide an important focus to the papers.