Material and Territorial Entanglements Across South-South Worlds II

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Development Geographies Specialty Group, Urban Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Maryland B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Miles Kenney-Lazar, Wanjing Chen
Chairs: Wanjing Chen


The “rise of the rest” – the rapid increase in wealth and political power of countries in the Global South – has garnered a staggering amount of media, policy, and scholarly interest. Much has been written about the shifting axes of global power toward a multi-polar world (Amin 2006), the emergence of Southern countries as providers of development aid (Mawdsley 2017), the growth of South-South trade and investment (Horner 2016), new forms of connections across cities of the Global South (Roy and Ong 2012), and the role of Southern governments and corporations in land grabbing (Borras et al. 2011). While China has received the lion’s share of attention, especially due to its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the rest of the BRICS group members (Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa) and a host of other emerging regional powers (e.g. Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam) are squarely on the radar. The emergence of a powerful South has generated a spirited debate concerning the consequences of such shifting geopolitically and geoeconomically terrain. On the one hand, South-South integration is seen as a form of post-colonial solidarity emerging out of common historical experience and development desires (Gray and Gills 2016). One the other, such engagements have been framed as ‘neocolonial’, producing new forms of unequal and oppressive power relations between emerging powers and still-marginalized Southern societies (Bond 2013). The current lexicon employed to understand contemporary South-South intersections insufficiently captures the unique political-economic, cultural, and historical forces at play (Bräutigam and Zhang 2013; Lee 2018). In this session, we seek to move beyond an impasse that either demonizes or valorizes South-South engagements through ethnographic investigations of the complex, nuanced, and variegated geographical transformations actually produced. Instead of debating this emerging phenomenon at the abstract scale of relations between nation-states, we seek an exploration of the grounded, territorial, and material changes underway that underlie the entanglements of Southern territories. Capturing these dynamics can generate new understandings of the ontologies of South-South engagements and foster the theoretical language to discuss them.

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Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Wanjing Chen University of Wisconsin-Madison 5 1:10 PM
Presenter Miles Kenney-Lazar*, National University of Singapore, Kelly Wanjing Chen, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Contesting Southern Real Estate Capital in the Peri-Urban Wetlands of Vientiane, Laos 15 1:15 PM
Presenter Mabel Denzin Gergan*, Florida State University, Racialized Exclusion, Urban Contact Zones, and South-South Mobilities 15 1:30 PM
Presenter Galen Murton*, James Madison University, Combusting relations: Petro-provisioning and geopolitical shifts in post-earthquake Nepal 15 1:45 PM
Presenter Christopher Courtheyn*, Universidad del Rosario, Ahsan Kamel, Qauid-e Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, Critical resource geographies in Pakistan and Colombia: Ethics, performance, and learning 15 2:00 PM
Discussant AbdouMaliq Simone 20 2:15 PM

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