South–South education relations

Authored by: Thomas Muhr , Mário Luiz Neves de Azevedo

Routledge Handbook of South–South Relations

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138652002
eBook ISBN: 9781315624495
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter adopts an historical and global approach to the under-researched field of South–South cooperation (SSC) in education and development. The first section discusses the concepts of ‘the South’, ‘the global South’ and ‘South–South cooperation’, counter-posed with practices of ‘triangular collaboration’ and ‘best practice transfer’. On this basis, a review of existing South–South education cooperation literatures distinguishes a mainstream approach embedded in liberal and (neo)realist international relations theories from a critical theory approach associated with counter-dependency thinking. Framed by these discussions, two case studies of contemporary global South–South education relations are presented: the ¡Yo, Sí Puedo! (Sure, I Can!) global literacy campaign promoted by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela; and the BRICS common education cooperation agenda. While it cannot unambiguously be concluded that South–South education cooperation produces a counter-structure to the neoliberal global governance of education, the chapter equally shows that the South–South principles of solidarity, mutual benefits and self-reliance are very much practised among South partners. Finally, proposals for future research in this field are presented.

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