GGR345 Ch. 1
Defining the Global South: Real and Imagined dividing lines
-Today: Rich and poor nations fall on either side of Brandt’s Line
-although Brandt’s line no longer neatly divides rich from poor and the powerful from the powerless
(and never did, given the variation that exists within countries), North-South divides are still important
in shaping the way in which the Global South is imagined, talked about, and studied today.
-students often taught about problems in the global south and how to fix them leading to stereotype
reinforcements that the south needs to intervention from the north and is a collection of trouble and
-focus of the book is to be geographical rather than development experts
-in this book, the working def. of the Global South stays with the problematic division put forward by
Brandt, but we use this deliberately to highlight the diversity that exists south of the Brandt Line rather
than trying to present a singular view of the experiences of its countries, regions and peoples.
-within the Brandt Commission’s South today are emerging superpowers and failed states, the world’s
fastest growing economies and the vast majority of the global poor.
-Global South contains massive variations in environmental conditions, cultural values, and practices,
political and economic systems, and ways of life that we can only begin to sketch out here
-life in the south is clearly linked with the north
The Power of Representation
-the first key argument of the book is that the ways in which Global South is represented- in the media,
in academia, in policy documents and elsewhere – is an exercise of power that has important, real-world
-One way in which representations of the Global South can have powerful effects is through the
repeated use of restricted forms of descriptions: These can, intentionally or otherwise, ‘fix’ ideas of a
place in our minds, and shape the way we respond to it.
-one powerful way of viewing the Global South since the mid-twentieth century has been provided by
the idea of development itself.
-or as lagging behind the west interms of industrialization, modernization, democratization
-seeing these countries as characterized merely by a series of lacks and lags is, of course, a severe mis
representation, and geographers, anthropologists and others have conducted research that challenges
and deconstructs the way in which development ideas, images, and writing shape understandings of the
-Central to much of this work is the idea that there are important links between having power to
represent developing areas, and having some degree of control over them
-as you’ll see in America’s Egypt below if USAID can successfully portray Egypt as suffering from a
aprticular development problem, that in turn can be used to justify intervention in that coutnry’s affairs
-the central message is that represntations of the south matter, not least because they can have
real imapcts on the everyday lives of people living there
Concept of Power
-it is possible to identify three aspects of power, two of which are more clearly held by particular
individuals or institutions.
1. the ability to command or control the actions of others: examples of this power over others
would include the control a male household head exercise over other family members within a
patriarchal society, or the authority of a national govt. over its citizens.
2. second is the ability to control and deploy resources 3. power within the operation of everyday techniques, strategies and practices (like police
conducting surveillance thus dictating ur actions. Like laws dictating ur actions)
The Power of development: America’s Egypt
-USAID portrayed Egypt’s agricultural development problems as being about o