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The Poorer Nations . The Possible History of the Global South
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The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South
With The Poorer Nations , Prashad takes up the story where he left off. Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the In The Darker Nations , Vijay Prashad provided an intellectual history of the Third World and traced the rise and fall of the Non-Aligned Movement. Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRICS countries, the World Social Forum, issuebased movements like Via Campesina, the Latin American revolutionary revival—in short, efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies and economically by the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other instruments of the powerful.
Just as The Darker Nations asserted that the Third World was a project, not a place, The Poorer Nations sees the Global South as a term that properly refers not to geographical space but to a concatenation of protests against neoliberalism.
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Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published February 12th by Verso first published July 3rd More Details Other Editions 8. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Poorer Nations , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. In the first chapter, Prashad analyses the death of Atlantic liberalism and the subversion of the institutional efforts of the third world to promote a new international economic order NIEO , through coordinated and organised offensive by the G7 powers led by USA.
This offensive led towards a neoliberal restructuring of the world economic order. The second chapter provides a detailed analysis of the work of south commission under the leadership of the Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere. While the emergence of BRICS that want to play a larger role in the global economy gives new voice to the south, it is however limited by the fact that it has no ideological alternative to neoliberalism and is in fact committed to Southern neoliberalism.
This leads to the fourth part where he shifts from the institutional focus to that of the grassroots anti — globalisation struggles in Latin America. He focuses on the struggles of Women, indigenous people and the slum dwellers. One of the central questions in this section is that of internationalism. While not dismissing the importance of internationalism in the struggle against neoliberalism, he offers a critic of World Social Forum WSF. My one criticism here is that the author speaks nothing about the discontent and the grassroots struggles in India and China. Or does he think of the Bolivarian model as providing a possible alternative to neoliberalism?
This is a very important book that offers a critique of neoliberalism from the perspective of the south and is a must a read for anyone. View 1 comment. As the Brandt Commission reported in , to call the majority world the South is to be clear about global relations of power. This outstanding book traces the emergence of the Global South from the crumbling of the Third World Project, through the struggles over neo-liberal hegemony and dominance and the emergence of new sites and forms of resistance in the slums, among indigenous peoples and those lead by women.
We could read this as a sequel to The Darker Nations , his history of the Third World project, but there is no need to have read that book to get this one. In this case, rather than the earlier focus on a decolonising opposition to the bi-polar politics of the Cold War as seen in the Non-Aligned Movement, the argument turns around three key strands.
The second strand of the argument centres on emerging Southern neo-liberalism through struggles within the states and international organisations of the South: the Non-Aligned Movement, UNCTAD and the like.
The analysis here turns on the South Commission during the s, headed up by Nyerere but drawing in a range of technocrats, politicians and Southern political heavyweights. The significance of this global resistance was that it was grounded in civil society and popular movements, in contrast to the s and s struggles based in state building and national liberation.
These new movements are fluid, but centred on three principle sectors — women, indigenous peoples and slum dwellers; that is, they are based in the excluded within the states in the South. This new form of Southern power, Prashad argues, is building strength through emerging institutional forms such as the World Social Forum, and increasingly regional and international networks based in and across these and other sectors. The case is both rich and dense, with a close focus on the global and regional multi-state and corporate institutions of both states and social forces — so we, as readers, need to keep on top of these groups.
The institutional focus is brought to life by his detailed grasp of the personalities involved, personalities who often shift between groups and roles, as well as a regular reminder of who these characters are and where we last met them. This is a major contribution to our understanding of global struggles for justice, and is essential reading for new internationalists. Dec 27, Carlos Martinez rated it really liked it.
In terms of how much I learned and how thought-provoking I found it, this book gets five stars. The overarching analysis brings the score down a bit, because I feel Vijay falls into the trap of calling everything he's not too keen on 'neoliberalism'. China's development model being the most important example is heavily regulated, planned, and is dominated by state-owned enterprises; it doesn't conform to any sensible definition of 'neoliberalism' that I've come across. A couple of other little In terms of how much I learned and how thought-provoking I found it, this book gets five stars.
A couple of other little quibbles here and there, but honestly it's a very interesting book, well worth reading. The book covers everything from the movements and proposals by the global south such as New International Economic Order that was fiercely resisted by the G7 countries, to the disintegration of North Atlantic liberalism such as the limitations and failure of Brandt commission , which eventually paved the way for Reagan and Thatcher to set out the neoliberal agenda at Cancun, the agenda that found its way to the south that has fallen weak in the midst of the debt crisis of 's.
The book ends with a call for a new 21st century south commission or movement, and provides great framework for an alternative that should be taken seriously by anyone interested in ideas of development and social justice in the global south. Overall this is a seminal work, the amount of details and research in this book is just mind-blowing. Having read this and his previous book -the Darker nations,I have to say that in my opinion Prashad is arguably one of the best historians of global south today. I was really excited for this after really enjoying Prashad's The Darker Nations last year.
Compared to that, this book is much narrower in scope, focusing largely on the global South's attempts to assert itself since the s in international, multilateral, and regional fora. This can get fairly dry at times - for instance, the second chapter's rehashing of policy making in UN member agencies.
That said, Prashad has a lively style, and his writing is always focused on the larger question of ho I was really excited for this after really enjoying Prashad's The Darker Nations last year. That said, Prashad has a lively style, and his writing is always focused on the larger question of how the global South can tackle unipolarity or pending multi polarity, if the fabled American decline is really in the offing.
It works on its own, for sure, but they're best read as two volumes of a possible or people's history of the global south.
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It is startling how insulated the West has remained from the thinking, achievements, and struggles of the great majority of the world's people. This lucid and well-informed study reveals how much there is to learn from this rich and vibrant record. With 'The Poorer Nations', Prashad takes up the story where he left off. Since the '70s, the countries of the Global South have struggled to build political movements.
Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRICS countries, the World Social Forum, issuebased movements like Via Campesina, the Latin American revolutionary revival - in short, efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies and economically by the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other instruments of the powerful. Just as 'The Darker Nations' asserted that the Third World was a project, not a place, 'The Poorer Nations' sees the Global South as a term that properly refers not to geographical space but to a concatenation of protests against neoliberalism.
In his foreword to the book, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali writes that Prashad 'has helped open the vista on complex events that preceded today's global situation and standoff'.
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