The South-South Tricontinental Collaborative Academic Programme

About the Programme (2013 -2015)

International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) is now part of a South-South Tricontinental collaborative academic programme. The Programme is jointly led by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), and the Latin American Council of Social Science (CLACSO). It would also involve other leading social sciences research networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This Collaborative Programme has been conceived in the context of the hegemony of epistemological paradigms conceived in the North in the study of the South and the weakening of independent research capacity developing in academic and research institutions in the South. As is typical of the economic order, the current global ordering of knowledge is characterised by a number of inequalities and imbalances that impact upon the capacity of the South to equal the Global North in knowledge production.

While this remains true, the severe crisis afflicting the mainstream social sciences, offers an opportunity for a significant renewal of the social sciences, especially with respect to broad issues such as development, democracy, the environment, peace and international justice. The crisis of the mainstream social sciences has many dimensions to it and some have suggested that a paradigmatic shift is required to overcome the observed difficulties. Insofar as the countries of the global South are concerned, there is a growing mismatch between inherited conceptual frames and the changed/changing realities they are meant to capture.

This provides the context for the launch of this South-South initiative. Organising a collective Southern response to this challenge is an opportunity that deserves to be taken and which, if it were successful, could contribute to the development of epistemic social science communities capable of contributing to the articulation of an authoritative Southern voice in international academic and policy arenas.

The intellectual challenge is to revisit dominant theoretical and empirical discourses from the perspective of the innovative, alternative, economic, political and social responses and even systemic changes occurring in the countries of the South. The Africa/Asia/Latin America Academic Collaborative Programme is designed to meet this challenge.

The main objective of the programme is to mobilise institutional energies for collaboration across the Global South in research and knowledge production with a view to bring uniquely southern perspectives to bear on the challenges associated with globalisation. By doing so, the programme aims at contributing towards the re-orientation of the theoretical and methodological frameworks that underpin international knowledge production in the field of the social sciences and humanities.

Specific objectives:

To increase the acceptance and use of a Southern perspective to address critical historical and contemporary issues of theory and practice;

  1. To increase the number of young scholars undertaking quality research from a Southern perspective;
  2. To increase the production and use of new knowledge from a Southern perspective in areas given priority in the programme;
  3. To increase the visibility and credibility of scientific production of Southern scholars among users in both the North and South;
  4. To increase South-South scientific cooperation and networking.

Programme Activities

The Tricontinental South-South programme would involve:

Comparative research workshops/conferences

  • “Inequality and Climate Change: Perspectives from the South”, 24 – 25 July, 2014, Dakar, Senegal

Summer Institutes aimed at younger scholars

  • Eighth South-South Institute on “Inequality and Social Justice: Perspectives from the Global South”, September 11-18, 2015, Durban, South Africa. (institute_2015)
  • Seventh South-South Institute “Inequality, Democracy and Development under Neoliberalism and       Beyond”, 3- 8 November, 2014, Bangkok, Thailand. (institute_2014)
  • Sixth South-South Institute,”Democratic Renewal Versus Neoliberalism: Towards empowerment and inclusion”, 25 September – 3 October, 2013, Santiago De Chile. (institute_2013)

Grants for collaborative research and academic interaction

Publication of books/working papers/ policy briefs

  • Inequality, Democracy and Development under Neoliberalism and Beyond
    ISBN 978-987-722-091-9
  • Democratic Renewal versus Neoliberalism:Towards empowerment and inclusion 
    ISBN 978-987-722-041-4