The Role of Global South in International Relations

In the next ten years, India and China are expected to be the biggest economies. Almost a quarter of the world's population lives in these two nations. Huge population size in India and China is likely to increase the rate of innovation, manufacturing and consumption. Increased rate of manufacturing and consumption will create jobs, generate foreign capital and spur massive economic growth in India and China (Matthew 1).  Fast economic growth in India and China will also be stimulated by the low cost of labor and production.  Brics is a phrase that was coined in 2001 to describe a certain group of nations that were expected to have the greatest impact on the world's economy in the future (Jim 1). This included emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China. The five nations now comprise of close to 30 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product. MINT is a term used to describe the current emerging economies (Jim 1). This includes economies like Turkey, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Mexico.  As economic growth shifts to nations in Asia like China, the terms global south and north are likely to remain relevant because the south will now become a dominant manufacturing and exporting base compared to the north. In simple terms, the south will become the new north.

            Global south is a term that is utilized to refer to poorly developed nations of the world. These nations have different degrees of cultural, political and economic influence on the global stage. Even though international relations is a global issue, it has mainly been studied in the context of Western Europe and North American nations (Benabdallah). When global issues are discussed in the context of the west, the voice of the colonized nations and poorly developed nations of the world or global south is lost. The role of developing states and other global south nations in shaping international institutions like United Nations and World Trade Organization is partly eroded due to the history of imperialism and continued dependence of global south nations on global north nations for economic and technical support (Benabdallah). During imperialism, most nations were subjected to western norms, knowledge and values. Even after independence the global south still continue to be subject to western rules. These nations cannot dictate the direction of international issues and discussions if they are still at the mercy of their former colonial masters. Moreover, most of the policies that direct development on the global platform are founded on assumptions that originate from the west. The effect of imperialism is, therefore, being felt in international relations today.

            According to the dependency theory, underdevelopment and poverty in global south are an outcome of economic and political influence exerted on such nations by outside forces from the global north. The relationship between the global south and global north is still exploitative and unfair because the global south has been incorporated in a capitalist economic system which exploits human and natural resources and disrupts the traditional mechanisms of production. The current economic relations between the global north and global south cannot help the south to achieve the much desired economic success. Restructuring the entire global system is the only way to help the global south and deliver economic freedom to the poor. Economic exploitation of most colonized nations of the world never stopped with the end of imperialism. In fact, the departing colonial powers formulated policies that paved way for a new form of economic and political domination in the global south. Such policies emphasized the need for production of cash crops for the export market and reliance on foreign financial intervention to solve internal economic problems. Also, the policies of international bodies like the World Trade Organization continue to further the interests of the global north at the expense of the global south. 

Works Cited

Jim, O'Neill. “Jim O’Neill: Revisiting the next Bric economies” Financial News. (2018). Accessed July 20, 2018, from

Matthew Yglesias. Everybody Lives in Asia. Slate. (2013). Accessed July 20, 2018, from

Benabdallah, Lina, Carlos Murillo-Zamora, and Victor Adetula. "Global South Perspectives on International Relations Theory." (2017): 125-130.

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