World Order Narratives of the Global South (WONAGO)

  • The decades since the late twentieth century are marked by the end of the bipolar world order and the rise of countries of the Global South. Most explanations focus on political and economic power shifts and do not pay much attention to ideas of order, especially those prevalent in the Global South. To provide a more inclusive perspective, this project researches world order narratives in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of its Area Studies strategy.
    BMBF, 2021-2024


    Alex Waterman

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Khalil Dahbi

    Research Fellow


    Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz

    Direktor des GIGA Instituts für Nahost-Studien

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mücke

    Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer


    World order narratives are powerful representations and interpretations of global order and conflicts that posit and define the role of one's own country, region and/or culture. The following questions are at the heart of this project:
    - What views on global developments and problems are articulated in the world regions ?
    - Do these views differ between countries and regions?
    - Are there narratives of the South that are distinct from those of the North (and East)?

    Beitrag zu internationaler Forschung

    Today, research in the humanities and social sciences on the world's regions faces the challenge of adequately taking into account the significance of the Global South, freeing itself from colonially shaped patterns of thought, remaining methodologically compatible and at the same time developing area-specific expertise. When interpreting the global upheavals of recent decades, it is therefore of paramount importance to take greater account of developments in the Global South.

    The project researches world order narratives and strengthens the cooperation of the area studies in Hamburg and between Hamburg and the areas. It contributes to the further advancement of Area Studies in Germany and internationally.

    Forschungsdesign und Methoden

    World order narratives are understood as explicitly formulated concepts that articulate power and interests in a way that connects them with ideas about the global position of a country and/or a region. The project is divided into two subprojects.

    Sub-project 1 is located at the University of Hamburg and researches world order narratives in Latin America and in sub-Saharan Africa with their respective global connections. Sub-project 2 is located at the GIGA and researches world order narratives in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, with their respective global connections.

    In close cooperation with the partner institutions in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), sub-project 2 starts with drafting and discussing a research design. After that, our post-doctoral researchers in the team pursue research for several months in Asia and the MENA region. In a third phase of subproject 2, the findings of the research stays are analysed in Hamburg and in cooperation with the partner institutions, followed by the drafting and publication of the results. All these steps are accompanied by periodic workshops and meetings in which colleagues of sub-projects 1 and partners from Hamburg and from the areas meet and discuss the research project’s progress.

    Additionally, during the entire duration of the project public relations and transfer activities will be carried out to inform the public and decision makers about the project’s results. Project partners from Asia and the MENA region participate in these activities. Together with sub-project 1, the project will prepare and publish a book in the second phase of the three years project period.

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