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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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Facebook Follow us on our Facebook page

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


Global South Unit

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 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.


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

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


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 Campus
Time: 6.30PM


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

August 10, 2016

working paper 1

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

working paper 1

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


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

working paper 1

Change and Continuity in Chinese Foreign Policy:
China’s Engagement in the Libyan Civil War as a Case Study

Jian Junbo and Álvaro Méndez
Working Paper Series 05-2015, November 2015


Comparative advantages and challenges of regional developmental banks: The CAF experience
L. Enrique Garcia
Policy Briefs Series 02-2015, September 2015


What next for the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC?
Sophie Haspeslagh
Policy Briefs Series 01-2015, August 2015

working paper 1

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

working paper 1
working paper 1

Regional Organizations and Security Governance: A Comparative Assessment of IGAD and ASEAN
Asnake Kefale
Working Paper Series 01-2015, January 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, October 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. 


Tech savvies' views on China's AI 'fever'
During the ongoing World Robotics Conference (WRC) in Beijing, China Daily interviewed several domestic entrepreneur pioneers to explore the behind-the-scenes reasons as to AI's growth.

FTZ that will open up inland regions
As the latest addition to China's Free Trade Zone project, Chongqing will focus on policy innovation to become a pivot in the country's go-west campaign.

Recycled metals outshine miners
China is on the cusp of a scrap wave that will return metal from aging cars and expired fridges to the supply chain in a growing threat to mining companies.

Brazil’s evangelicals push politics to the right
Former missionary set to become next mayor of Rio

Wallonia’s stand on trade means trouble for Brexit
Parliamentary votes on EU-Canada deal set an ominous precedent

Ceta talks head towards Monday crunch
Canada’s patience on deal tested as EU courts resolute Wallonia

© The Financial Times Limited [2015]

South Africa: ANC chief whip urges Jacob Zuma to quit
The chief whip of South Africa's governing political party is urging its leadership - including President Jacob Zuma - to quit over abuses of power.

Somali pirates' hostages 'ate rats' to survive
A group of sailors freed after being held by Somali pirates for nearly five years ate rats to survive, one survivor tells the BBC.

Death toll in Cameroon train crash rises to 70
The number of people killed in a train crash in Cameroon on Friday rises to 70, with 600 injured.

Venezuela opposition puts pressure on President Maduro
Venezuelan congressmen put President Nicolas Maduro under further pressure by voting on Sunday to put him on trial for violating democracy.

Haiti jailbreak: At least 150 inmates still on the run
At least 150 inmates are on the run in Haiti after 170 escaped from a prison in Arcahaie on Saturday, 45km (30 miles) north of the capital Port-au-Prince.

Guantanamo: Former inmate Jihad Diyab 'to leave' Uruguay
A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who went on hunger strike in Uruguay to demand relocation to another country receives an offer, his supporters say.

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