AFRASO Lecture-Series - Afrasian Futures. Emma Mawdsley: South-South Cooperation and Africa-Asia Relations in the Decade Ahead: The Challenges of Success

31. January 2019
6.15 pm, room IG 411, ground floor of the Main Building at Campus Westend of the Goethe University, Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt

Abstract: Perhaps the most significant trend in international development over the last 15 years has been the remarkable expansion of South-South Cooperation (SSC). SSC covers much of what the ‘North’ would deem to be aid or ‘aid-like’ flows and activities; but it also blurs and blends with trade, investment and diplomacy. Focusing on Africa-Asia relations, this presentation will examine the unfolding consequences of the sea change in the visibility and influence of SSC that occurred around the early millennium. Three contemporary trends are identified in this lecture: cooperation narratives that are increasingly ‘muscular’, nationalistic and pragmatic; difficulties sustaining claims to ‘non-interference’ in partner countries; and some erosion of ideational distinctiveness. I will explore the re-shaping of relationships, and the tensions, challenges and opportunities they are bringing. 

Bio: Emma Mawdsley is a Reader in Human Geography at the University of Cambridge. She is also the Vice Principal of Newnham College, and the Director of the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies. Emma’s research originated in environmental and regional politics in India, before turning to critical inquiries into international development politics. She has worked extensively on South-South Cooperation, and more recently has examined how this and other trends are re-shaping ‘northern’donors. Her book From Recipients to Donors: Emerging Powers and the Changing Development Landscape (Zed Books, 2013) has received wide critical acclaim and will soon be followed by an edited volume on Researching South-South Development Cooperation: critical reflections on the politics of knowledge production (Routledge, forthcoming).