chapter  12
6 Pages

Conclusion

We hope that you have found the previous chapters engaging and that they have challenged you to think about the peoples and places of the Global South in new ways. While the book has covered a vast range of material and ideas, we have made four main arguments throughout which we outlined in Chapter 1 and which we review in this chapter. The fi rst argument is that representations of the Global South matter – they can have important effects in the real world which we illustrate in various ways through the book. Chapter 2 explored this argument at some length, and did so deliberately to disrupt from the very outset some prominent Northern images of the Global South as a place of backwardness, poverty or danger. While historically, such negative representations of the South may have been an important element of psychological control by colonizers (as was argued by Franz Fanon, see Chapter 3), today the representation of the Global South is not wholly dominated by the narrow concerns of Northern development agencies, media outlets and others. Ways of imagining the Global South from the South are both important and varied, and can draw on or undermine representations from the North. Some actively aim to build a sense of the South as a unifi ed or united group, such as within the G77 or the Non-Aligned Movement, whereas others may selectively adopt aspirations of modernity and difference within the South, such as within the ‘place marketing’ of particular cities. Exploring this array of representations is important because of their material effects which are felt at a range of spatial scales, from Southern countries bargaining for environmental or trade concessions through the United Nations, to the personal impacts of Southern governments presenting themselves as guardians of ‘traditional’ and moral values. It also helps to place ‘development’ as one way – but only one among many – in which the Global South is imagined.