Climate and security: UN agenda-setting and the ‘Global South’

The new special edition of the Third World Quarterly, entitled “The ‘Global South’ in the study of world politics”, features an article by CIPÓ’s Executive Director, Adriana Abdenur. The Special Issue focuses on the increasing popularity of the ‘Global South’ as a meta category and asks whether and how it can be put to analytical use for research on world politics.

Read the abstract:

“At the United Nations (UN), frequent references are made to the ‘North–South’ divide, which presupposes a certain degree of coherence among two broad groups of states: developing countries – often referred to collectively as the ‘Global South’ – and advanced economies, the so-called ‘North’. Whether motivations and preferences among policy elites in UN agenda-setting processes turn out to be homogeneous or coordinated along the lines of this binary divide, however, is an empirical question. This paper hones in on the case of the climate and security agenda to examine the changing interests and positions of so-called ‘Global South’ actors. Drawing on official documents from UN bodies and member states, as well as interviews with diplomats, I argue that, despite a somewhat united front voiced through the Group of 77 when the topic of climate and security first arose at the UN, over the last 15 years a diversification of interests – resulting in part due to differences in experiences with and perceptions of climate change – has rendered ‘North–South’ framings rather unproductive in analysing multilateral positions on climate and security. At the same time, however, references to the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South’ that acknowledge this heterogeneity still help to highlight underlying structural features that condition the engagement of both state and non-state actors with UN agenda-setting processes.”

Plataforma CIPÓ
Plataforma CIPÓ
Plataforma CIPÓ is an independent, women-led policy institute focusing on climate, governance, and peacebuilding in Latin America and the Caribbean and, more generally, the Global South.



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