Transitions in the Global South


The thematic group ‘Transitions in the Global South’ is a growing community of scholars working on sustainability transitions in developing and emerging economies around the world. We are part of the broader STRN community. As an emerging network of scholars, we are dedicated to investigating challenges and opportunities of sustainability transitions in the countries that are geographically locally in the Global South, and are often associated with lower economic development, high inequality, poverty and people experiencing severe consequences of climate change. “Global South” is therefore a category as much geographical as it is contextual. Our aim is to have an interdisciplinary perspective, particularly using a systemic approach to addressing sustainability.

During an International Sustainability Transitions conference (IST) held in Brighton (2015), our network took shape from the necessity to have sustained debates about developing and emerging economies’ transition trajectories. The group was initially named as “Transitions in Latin America, Carribean, ASia and AFrica. (TRANSLACASAF). Over the past 5 years, the network has grown as scholars and students participated in numerous activities and felt their voices were heard. Along the years, our key activities have been to organise dialogue sessions and dedicated tracks in the annual IST conferences where scholars working on Global South issues and challenges get to meet each other, share knowledge and co-produce research agendas.

Among our activities, we have also organised two webinar series. Between October 2017 and June 2018, Dr Mara van Welie and Dr Pauline Cherunya organised a series of four webinars by inviting sustainability transitions scholars to discuss topics such as informality, multi-scalar linkages, idealised energy futures and global diffusion of transformative innovations – relevant for global transitions. Following a global pandemic, in 2020 we decided to organise a series on “Covid-19 and transitions in the Global South”. What followed was seven monthly webinars from June to December. For each of the webinars we selected a Global South related topic and invited three speakers. Prof. Mark Swilling, Prof. Joyashree Roy and Prof. Adriana Marotti de Mello set the scene of the series in the introductory event which opened up the following six dialogues: 1) Rising inequality in times of a pandemic, 2) Changing social practices in times of a pandemic, 3) Local experimentation and innovations in times of a pandemic, 4) Role of State and local/global public institutions in times of a pandemic 5) Impact on and shifts in informal economy in times of a pandemic and 6) Global comparative policy learning in times of a pandemic. The recordings of the webinars are available in the Transitions in the Global South YouTube channel. Special thanks to the enthusiastic scholars who co-hosted the series: Dr. Bipashyee Ghosh, Katharina Schiller, Dr. Adriana de Mello, Rafael Carvalho Machado, Suci Lestari Yuana, Maria Luz Casal, Dr. Mark Purdon and Sumit Kumar.

2021 looks like a promising year! We are editing a special issue on ‘Sustainability transitions in the Global South – Learnings from Covid 19’ in a journal based in the Global South – REGE Revista de Gestão  (open access, free of APC, indexed by Web of Science and published by the University of São Paulo – Brazil).

We are a growing network: Our emailing list (transitions.globalsouth@gmail.com) has more than 300 members and over 100 persons have subscribed to our Global South Youtube channel. The Global South Twitter account has more than 600 followers. Be a part of our LinkedIn network and stay connected.

Our journey has just begun. Please drop us an email at transitions.globalsouth@gmail.com if you want to engage or collaborate with our network! We can team up with you in several activities, from organising regional networking events or securing some funding to organising a full-fledged webinar series in 2021. The choice is yours!

Thank you for helping us build this community.

For more questions you may also contact Bipashyee Ghosh (B.Ghosh@sussex.ac.uk).