South–South Knowledge Production and Hegemony: Searching for Africa in Chinese Theories of IR

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Carrozza, Ilaria & Lina Benabdallah (2022) South–South Knowledge Production and Hegemony: Searching for Africa in Chinese Theories of IR, International Studies Review 24(1): 1–21.

Reviewed, pre-typeset version is embargoed until 09 February 2024
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​There is a growing community of international relations (IR) scholars who argue for the importance of investigating Global South approaches to IR scholarship, making room for theories and concepts that challenge the discipline's Eurocentricity, and debating the merits and pitfalls of globalizing IR by including perspectives from various Global South locations.

​In addition to acknowledging this existing critical scholarship that aims at resisting mainstream epistemologies and methodologies of knowing and doing IR, this article's central contribution is to probe the epistemic hegemony and knowledge-production hierarchies that are emerging from within the Global South. 

The article does not seek to uncover the truth about the representation of Global South actors by Global South IR communities. Instead, it is interested in demonstrating how epistemic hegemony and knowledge-production hierarchies do not exist only in relationships of exclusion and Othering but also in relations of inclusion and Selving. We illustrate our argument with an analysis of the representations of “Africa” in China-based IR intellectual communities. We find that Chinese discourses on solidarity, friendship, community, and shared history lead to a narrative of sameness and Selving whereby Chinese postcolonial experiences are taken to be expandable and applicable to other developing states, making Chinese perspectives seem representative of others, thereby silencing and representing African voices at once.

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