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conceptual mapping >  globalization and international relations  > South-South strategic alternatives to the global economic system and power regime

Transnational Institute (TNI)

South-South strategic alternatives to the global economic system and power regime

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In recent years, the governments of many Southern countries have come to realise that the international trade and investment regime is thoroughly biased in favour of the interests of the richest and most powerful countries. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is at an impasse and neo-liberalism in general is in crisis. The appetite for alternatives is growing. This extends to the global power regime. While few would hanker for the old bi-polar Cold War world, even fewer find the current uni-polar order any improvement, particularly because of the brute militarism that has accompanied it. The prospects for a new multi-polar world are looking brighter.

An exciting development is the number of new South-South inter-governmental alliances that are emerging to defend their interests and challenge the bias of the current global trade and investment regime. We have several new and, sometimes, overlapping alliances forged within the WTO. These include the G-22 of large agricultural exporters, focussed on contesting Northern protectionism; the G-33, which defends small farmers against dumping by the North; and the largest grouping in the WTO, the G-90, which insists on special and differential treatment for the least developed countries and a moratorium on new negotiations. The impasse in the current negotiations of the WTO’s Doha « Development » Round is due in large part to countries of the global South standing up to the US and the EU, and, of course, the latter major powers’ total miscalculation of how far to push them! Mass popular struggles against the WTO, in particular, and neo-liberal economics in general have been crucial to the empowerment of developing countries.

document de référence rédigé le : 1 October 2006

date of on-line publication : 20 December 2006

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