Introduction: South–South cooperation beyond the myths—a critical analysis
The concept of South–South cooperation (hereafter SSC) covers many layers of economic initiatives and political realities. In common parlance, it can include political, military, economic, or cultural relationships; humanitarian assistance and technical cooperation between developing countries; the allocation of financial resources for development projects and regional integration as well as the constitution of blocks—a common position and agenda in multilateral negotiations. 1 Historically, however, the concept finds its roots in the struggle for independence of Asian and African countries during the 1940s and in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) a few years later. The ideas of a common identity, equality, and solidarity between less-developed countries; the defence of the sovereignty of newly independent states; and opposition to the “North” are thus core elements of SSC. From an economic perspective, development planning, state intervention in the economy, and import substitution through the consolidation of local production influenced the strategies of developing countries to varying degrees during the 1950s and 1960s.
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