The Global South:

During the 2023 Sharjah International Book Fair, InterRegional for Strategic Analysis launched the fourth volume in its InterRegional Studies series, entitled The Rise of the Global South in International Relations. This volume was written by international studies expert Dr. Sodfa Mohamed Mahmoud, a senior non-resident fellow with InterRegional for Strategic Analysis.

InterRegional Studies is a monographic series that provides specialized analysis of the most important emerging strategic shifts and questions in regional and international relations. It covers political, economic, security, military, technological, social, and other dimensions of these issues in addition to examining the implications of these shifts for key regions around the world.

The newest volume in this series sheds light on the rising influence of the Global South in the international arena, and examines signs of the South’s increased sway with regard to shifts in global economic power and the growing global geopolitical clout of the South. It also considers the increasing capacity of emerging powers to challenge US hegemony, as well as diplomatic action by major powers to win over countries in the Global South.

The volume is divided into five chapters in addition to an introduction and conclusion considering future developments. These chapters examine different perspectives and trends on Global South studies, signs of the Global South’s rising influence in international politics, factors contributing to the increased role of Southern countries in international affairs, strategies that countries in the Global South have adopted to engage in international dynamics, and parameters for the future role of the Global South in the international order.

The study clarifies that although particular attention has been given to the Global South’s role in international politics since the war in Ukraine, this shift has roots before the current crisis. The Global South has exerted markedly more influence since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, which dealt a major economic blow to countries in the Global North. This undermined the Washington Consensus of the liberal international economic order. Meanwhile, Global South countries began to play a decisive role in the international economic order. This requires an in-depth study of geopolitical, economic, and commercial dimensions of shifts that have contributed to the increased role of the Global South in international affairs.

The volume analyzes various perspectives and trends in studying the Global South, including with regard to political economy, geography, economic development, and geopolitics. It also examines indications that countries in the Global South have developed increased influence in global politics, including shifts in global economic power towards the South and the South’s growing clout in international geopolitics. It also examines the increased ability of emerging powers to challenge US hegemony and diplomatic action by major powers to win the support of the Global South.

The study also considers factors driving the ascendance of the Global South in international affairs through examining shifts in international architecture and heightened global competition. It also considers the particular importance of the South for global economic growth and the South’s key contributions to critical international issues in light of its growing military and political clout in international strategy.

With regard to strategies that Global South has adopted for engaging in international affairs, the volume sheds light on several policies including active non-alignment, multi-alignment, regional partnerships, and forming alternative blocs and institutional structures.

The study concludes with discussing the parameters of the Global South’s future in the international order, including with regard to how the West responds to the South’s demands, rivalries over leadership of the Global South, assessing the cohesiveness and effectiveness of Global South alliances, and the South’s ability to resolve internal divisions and economic difficulties that these countries are facing.