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How to contact us

Global South Unit
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom 


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Fax:  +44 (0)20 7955 7446
Email: gsu@lse.ac.uk


Global South Unit

Who we are

The Global South Unit (GSU) is a research and teaching initiative based in the International Relations Department of the LSE. It is a decentralised ideas hub aimed at investigating the changing role of the South in shaping the global order.

The unit was co-founded by Professor Chris Alden and Dr. Alvaro Mendez from the International Relations Department.

We aspire to lead the debate through our research, analysis and innovative ideas. Our network of academics, practitioners, policy-makers and business leaders are active proponents of new ideas and thinking about the Global South.

Our work

Our work is not based on theory alone; contributors have real experience of social and economic development in the Global South and feed these learnings back into their work and to the wider academic community. We capture and accurately analyse the shifting global landscape of economic ties and political relations now in process of re-constituting the structures and institutions of the international system.

Our remit is to ‘de-centre’ the study of International Relations and focus on:

  • Differing dimensions of emerging power foreign policy;
  • The changing dynamics of South-South cooperation;
  • The impact of the Global South on key international issues such as global governance and climate change
  • The relationship between North and South across political, economic, and social development dimensions

We achieve this through a combination of original academic research and an active outreach programme of events and publications. 

Through established links in Africa, China, India and Latin America, the GSU is part of a growing global network that will serve as a virtual and substantive centre of excellence on the study of the Global South.


LSE Global South Unit & SciencesPo Observatoire Politique de l'Amérique latine et des Caraïbes

28/09 | 17.00 - 19.00


With Alvaro Mendez, Senior Research Fellow, LSE


Discussant: Olivier Dabène, Professeur, Sciences Po, Chercheur, CERI, Président, OPALC


Venue: CERI-56 rue Jacob, 75006 Paris / Salle Jean Monnet 


Find more information and register here 


havana poster

6-7 July 2017, Universidad de la Habana Cuba

LSE Global South Unit, LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre, Universidad de la Habana joint event


Experiencias Internacionales de crecimiento y desarrollo: Retos y Opportunidades para Cuba en el Nuevo Escenario Internacional’


The Global South Unit and the Latin America and Caribbean Centre in collaboration with the University of Havana are organising an academic workshop on Cuba’s re-positioning in the international arena. The workshop will take place on 6-7 July 2017 at the University of La Havana, Cuba, and it is hoped to be the first of a series of events with a follow-up in London next year.


Host and Venue: Universidad de la Habana, Havana, Cuba.


join us for a ride!

12 July 2017

LSE Global South Unit Public Lecture




Speaker: President Enrique García

Chair: Prof. Chris Alden






23-24 September 2017

LSE Global South Unit, SIRPA Fudan University, and others joint symposium.


Second International Symposium on Development and Governance in the BRICS: International Development Aid in the BRICS

This event aims to explore the varied dimensions of international development aid in the BRICS and to analyse their theoretical and practical implications for public administration and development. To that end, the symposium has a central focus on the governance and performance of development aid in the context of the emergence of BRICS.


Host and Venue: Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Deadline for submission of abstract: 15 April 2017

Find the call for papers here


It’s time South Africa tuned into Africa’s views about its role on the continent


Chris Alden, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Maxi Schoeman, Professor of International Relations and Deputy Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria.

Asnake Kefale, Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University



African countries square up for battle over future of ivory trade ban

Authors: Chris Alden, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science
Ross Harvey, Senior Researcher in Natural Resource Governance (Africa), South African Institute of International Affairs


working paper 1

Passive agents? Bureaucratic agency in Africa-China negotiations:
A case study of Benin
Folashadé Soulé-Kohndou
Working Paper Series 03-2016

working paper 1

Early Lessons from the Colombian Peace Process
Andrés Ucrós Maldonado
Working Paper Series 01-2016


The Long Crisis Facing Emerging Markets: A Roadmap for Policy Reforms
Rajiv Biswas and Álvaro Méndez
Policy Brief Series 01-2016

working paper 1

The Origins of Nuclear Cooperation between Brazil and Argentina
Matias Spektor 
Working Paper Series 04-2015

working paper 1

A comparative study of foreign economic policies: The CIVETS countries
Angélica Guerra-Barón and Álvaro Méndez 
Working Paper Series 03-2015

working paper 1

Strategies and Counter-strategies: China in the Andean Region of South America
Ádam Chimienti and Benjamin Creutzfeldt
Working Paper Series 01-2014


China and  Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalists

New Edited volume by Dr Chris Alden and Dr Sergio Chichava, "China and Mozambique drills down into the heart of a relationship whose growing depth and complexity exposes key themes that will affect Africa’s future development."

 Varin book

Mercenaries, Hybrid Armies and National Security

This book, authored by Dr Caroline Varin, assesses the use of ‘mercenaries’ by states, and their integration into the national armed forces as part of a new hybridisation trend of contemporary armies in the 'Global South' as well as in Western societies. 


Premier: Prudent supervision needed for e-commerce

Chinese brands outstrip rivals in market share
Domestic automakers secure 43.2 percent of sales in 2017 so far, but commentators warn they must avoid complacency.

China approves 9 IPO applications
China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has approved IPO applications from nine companies.

© The Financial Times Limited [2015]

US expands travel ban to include Chad
People from Venezuela and Chad will also now face restrictions on travel to the United States.

Kenya election: Chief prosecutor orders inquiry into electoral commission
An inquiry is ordered into the electoral commission after last month's presidential poll was ruled void.

Two jailed for life over 2015 Egyptian stadium deaths
Two people are jailed for life and 12 others imprisoned over violence that led to at least 19 people dying at a football stadium in February 2015.

Venezuela added to US travel ban
People from Venezuela and Chad will also now face restrictions on travel to the United States.

Puerto Rico 'failing' dam risk remains after Hurricane Maria
Thousands of people nearby have been told to leave as the dam may collapse after Hurricane Maria.

Mexico earthquake: New tremor halts rescue operations
A tremor sends people running into the streets and halts searches for survivors of Tuesday's quake.


LSE Global South Unit public lecture

3 MAY,18:30 - 20:00 THAI THEATRE

Skills for the future: The challenges of human capital formation in Latin America


Date: Wednesday 3 May 2017
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Thai Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Dr Lucila Berniell
Chair:   Prof. Chris Alden


Dr. Lucila Berniell is a Research/Principal Economist in the Socio-economic Research Department at CAF.  In her research, she seeks to understand the formation of human capital in developing countries, with the aim to help design and evaluate public policies to foster skills development. She has worked on education, health, entrepreneurship, and labor programs for the youth, and has co-authored several academic articles and books on her fields of specialization. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain). She is currently teaching at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and at Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina).  


Read the report More Skills for Work and Life: The Contribution of Families, Schools, Jobs, and the Social Environment



Global South Unit, Stop Ivory and Mishcon de Reya LLP joint event

APRIL 27  18:15 - 19:30


Global Britain, Global Challenges: Africa and international partners are banning the Ivory trade. Should Britain follow suit?

The announcement by China of its intention to close its domestic ivory markets by the end of  2017, following the lead of the majority of  African governments, India and the US, is a potential game-changer in global efforts to ensure   elephant survival.  With over 20,000 African elephants slaughtered for their tusks since 2008 – a rate unsustainable for the survival of the species - the need for bold action is imperative.  The commitments by the US in 2016  and China in 2017 to ban ivory sales  are crucial steps in bringing the wanton destruction of elephants and their habitats to a halt, offering a dramatic example of the innovative co-operative partnerships necessary to build sustainable development in the 21st century.

A panel of distinguished diplomats and experts will discuss why many governments are joining forces to bring  an end to the ivory trade, what challenges they face in implementing their commitments and what Britain can do to support this growing international consensus.  


  • HE Lazarus Amayo,  High Commission of the Republic of Kenya
  • HE. Aichatou Sanni Aoudou, Gabon Ambassador to the UK 
  • Ambassador Shu Zhan,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People's Republic of China 
  • Dan Ashe,  President of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (former Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service)

Chair: Professor Chris Alden Director of the Global South Unit; Professor in International Relations, LSE




Friday, 13 January 2017     

IV ANNUAL CAF- LSE CONFERENCE Globalization in Crisis: Implications for the Global South

See the Conference Programme

Venue: Shaw Library, 6th floor, Old Building, LSE Campus

You can watch videos of the Conference here.

You can see photos of the Conference here.


Thursday 8 December 2016

A Global South Unit and LSESU Latin American Society Public Lecture

A more effective State: Public sector compensation and the quality of the bureaucracy in Latin America

Speaker: Dr. Pablo Brassiolo

Discussant: Dr. Alvaro Mendez

Chair: Dr. Caroline Varin

You can access the report A more effective State Capacities for designing, implementing and evaluating public policies in English and Spanish.

Time: 6:30-8pm  

Venue: Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Campus


Thursday, 10 November 2016


Mexico and China: Socioeconomic and Policy Challenges in 2016

Speaker: Prof. Enrique Dussel Peters, Graduate School of Economics at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Chair: Dr Alvaro Mendez, co-founder of LSE Global South Unit; Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE

Venue: Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE CampusTime: 6.30PM


Wednesday, 26 October 2016


Sustainable Development or Exploitation: Lessons from China in Latin America

Speakers:  Isabel Hilton, journalist and broadcaster
Jin Jiaman, Executive Director of the Beijing-based Global Environmental Institute (GEI)

Chair: Dr Alvaro Mendez, co-founder of LSE Global South Unit; Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE

Listen to the podcast

Venue: CLM.2.02, Clement House, Aldwych, LSE Campus
Time: 6.30PM

Argentina China

Monday, 12 September 2016

LSE and UTDT joint conference
The Chinese Connection: Argentinian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

Venue: Aula 102, Universidad Torcuato di Tella Campus Alcorta
Time: 08.00 - 17.30


 Thursday, 21 July 2016

China and Latin America: The case of Peru

Speaker: Professor Cynthia Sanborn, Director of the Research Center at the Universidad del Pacífico (CIUP); Professor of Political Science, CIUP
Chair: Dr. Alvaro Mendez, co-founder of LSE Global South Unit; Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE

Listen to the podcast

Venue:  NAB.1.04
Time: 18.20-20.00


 Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Rooted versus Mechanical Dependency: China in Latin America's Extractive Sector

Speaker: Professor Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Instituto Igarapé Fellow
Chair: Professor Chris Alden, Director of the Global South Unit; Professor in International Relations, LSE

Listen to the podcast

Time:  18.30- 20.00
Venue:  CLM.7.02


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Inclusive sustainable development when the Global South's economies 'head south': Lessons from Bolivia

Speakers: Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, Head of the Ministry of Economy and Public Finances from the Plurinational State of Bolivia;
Rene Orellana Halkyer, Minister of Development Planning from the Plurinational State of Bolivia
Chair: Dr. Alvaro Mendez, co-founder of LSE Global South Unit; Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE

Time:  18.30 - 20.00 
Venue:  Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Campus

Twitter: #LSEBolivia

Click here to listen to the podcast from the event
(Start - 
09:10 mins. End - 01:37:11 mins)


Friday, 29 April 2016

"Leadership in times of uncertainty: The role of regional development banks in Latin America”

With Enrique Garcia, President of CAF; Professor of Practice, LSE
Time:  5-7pm 

Venue:  Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE campus


Thursday, 28 April 2016

From Tailwinds to Headwinds. Can Latin America Weather the Storm?

Speaker: Enrique Garcia, President of CAF; Professor of Practice, LSE
Chair: Professor Chris Alden, Director of the Global South Unit; Professor in International Relations, LSE

Time:  6.30-8pm 
Venue:  Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE campus

President Garcia explored the role of development banks in meeting the current challenges that Latin America faces in the 21st century.

Listen to the podcast here.

Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Panama: consolidating democracy, growth and human development

Speaker: Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, Vice-President and Foreign Minister of Panama
Chair: Dr Alvaro Mendez, co-founder of LSE Global South Unit; Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE

Time: 1-2pm
Venue: LSE Campus, TBC to ticketholders

 Veronica Zavala-2

Friday, 22 January 2016

Latin America's Challenges in the Public Sector and Multilaterals

SpeakerVerónica Zavala, General Manager of Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness at the Inter-American Development Bank
ChairDr Alvaro Mendez, Senior Research Fellow, Global South Unit

Time: 17.00 - 19.00
Venue: OLD 4.01, Old Building, LSE Campus

Second Annual CAF-LSE Global South Conference- poster

Friday, 15 January 2016

Global Governance in an Era of Uncertainty


Enrique García, President of CAF – Development Bank of Latin America;
Leonel Fernández, Former President of the Dominican Republic;
Michel Camdessus,Former Managing Director of the IMF and Governor of the Bank of France;
Enrique Iglesias, Former Secretary General of SEGIB, President of the Inter-AmericanDevelopment Bank, and Executive Secretary of ECLAC
Celso Amorim, Former Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Defense of Brazil

For all of the speakers see the full conference programme here.

One of the most important developments of the contemporary century is the emergence of the global south onto the stage of world politics. However, these new rising states do not have a track record in international leadership in a globalized world. The challenges and uncertainties of the twenty-first century require a multilateral approach to global governance. The third annual CAF-LSE conference was held on Friday 15th January 2016 at the London School of Economics. This conference contributed to understanding the rise of the global south by focusing on key international actors from Asia, Africa and Latin America and their perspectives on global governance in an era of uncertainty.

Conference Programme
: Shaw Library, 6th floor, Old Building, LSE Campus
Time: 09.00 - 18.15

Dr Daniel Ortega

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

For a Safer Latin America: a new perspective to prevent and control crime
SpeakerDr Daniel Ortega, CAF Senior Research Economist; Adjunct Professor at IESA Business School, Caracas
ChairDr Alvaro Mendez, co-founder of LSE Global South Unit; Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE
Venue: Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Campus
Time: 18.30-20:00
Co-hosted with LSE Latin American Society - Poster