The Role of Southern Intellectuals in Contemporary Trade Governance

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This paper identifies the emergence of a new set of trade intellectuals from the global South, primarily from the rising powers. It argues that this group of ‘Southern trade intellectuals’ has formed a loose epistemic community, and traces the impact the group is having on global trade governance. The subject examined differs from most other uses of the epistemic community framework in that it analyses a case in which there is no objective, scientific knowledge being promoted by the group. Instead, the group is engaged in promoting one subjective understanding of events over another. However, the emergence of this epistemic community has been important in providing an alternative trade narrative that has weakened the dominance previously enjoyed by the Western powers over trade analysis. This broadening of the range of trade analysis and expert opinion forms an important, though potentially problematic, area of leadership provided by the rising powers to less developed countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-652
Number of pages20
Issue number5
Early online date22 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Trade
  • Development
  • rising powers


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