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Session 5

Geopolitical Rivalries: The West and the Global South in the 21st-Century World Order

Saturday, 2 September 2023

14:00 - 15:00 (GMT+7)

There are a number of countries in the Global South—the Developing World—that are rising in terms of economic, social and strategic political influence. They and many other countries of the Global South, although by no means all, have one thing in common: grievance, varying degrees of grievance against the West. But an agenda or strategy of grievance is insufficient and potentially dangerous. They are all dismayed by the current World Order, but what kind of a new world order would they build in its place? And what are the consequences of the recent enlargement of BRICS? Such a rapid expansion is destabilizing—how long will it take for the group to stabilize, and to initiate a new expanded vision? Several countries aspire for leadership of the Global South—China, Russia, India among others: which of them is best prepared, and trusted enough by the others to assume that role?

On the other hand, amid the Ukraine-Russia war, leading Western countries have launched a courtship of the Global South, in a bid for a more stable, more equitable partnership. But in the light of current developments in the South, isn’t this too little too late? The issues that call for West-South cooperation are fairly obvious: climate change, food security, fuel security, cyber security, etc. but where is the political will to organize the teamwork, the pooling of resources, to address them? There are no easy answers. But the questions are compelling and worth every effort to answer them. That is what the distinguished panelists will endeavor to do in the session, "Geopolitical Rivalries: The West and the Global South in the 21st-Century World Order." Ideas generated in discussions like this may lead to a better world.

Panelists & Moderator


Prof. Amitav Acharya

Distinguished Professor of School of International Service at American University

Prof. Phoebe Koundouri

Founder and Scientific Chair of Alliance of Excellence for Research & Innovation on Aephoria (AE4RIA)

Rohini Nambiar

Assistant Director of Policy Programmes & Media at Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA)

Dr. Feta Simon

Member of Uganda Council of Foreign Relations (UCFR)

Prof. Tang Bei

China Forum Expert; Vice Dean of School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Shanghai International Studies University

Prof. Olexiy Haran

Research Director of Democratic Initiative Foundation

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