Africa beyond ‘South-South cooperation’: A frame with limited resonance

Sebastian Haug, Cynthia Kamwengo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


With reference to frames as socially determined definitions of reality, this paper examines the discrepancies between the prominence of ‘South-South cooperation’ terminology in globally dominant discourses and its limited usage by African stakeholders. Based on insights from the United Nations, (cross-)regional collaboration formats and bilateral cooperation, we find that African officials employ ‘South-South’ terminology mainly when ‘Northern’ partners are present but use other frames when engaging with developing countries. This limited resonance poses a challenge to multilateral organisations and traditional donors in their attempts to expand engagement with ‘South-South’ relations. A focus on the usage and effects of frames, we argue, can clarify the assumptions based on which international cooperation unfolds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-565
JournalJournal of International Development
Issue number4
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023


  • Africa
  • China
  • Frames
  • India
  • South-South cooperation
  • United Nations


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