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On the term Global South

The Global South - a relational concept

We propose to use the terms Global South and Global North as relational concepts in order to overcome prevailing but nowadays inapt geographical and geopolitical classifications of the world, such as center and periphery, developed and developing countries or first and third world. In our reading, Global South/Global North are not defined by clear spatial boundaries but rather as emergent topographies of historically evolving and overlapping networks of exchange, of dominance and exclusion, and of identity ascriptions. By liberating the concepts from their geospatial connotations, we acknowledge that the Global South can be found in the geogra-phic north, and vice versa. As a relational concept Global South can help to address the internal inequalities of countries and territories across the world. It describes the increasing political, cultural, and epistemic marginalization of people not able to profit from the benefits of globalization.


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Global South - definitions