In Search of the Global East: Thinking between North and South
published as: Müller, Martin. ‘In Search of the Global East: Thinking between North and South’. Geopolitics 0, no. 0 (2 October 2018): 1–22. doi: 10.1080/14650045.2018.1477757. Download open access (CC-BY).
Posted: 12 Dec 2016 Last revised: 17 Oct 2018
Date Written: April 4, 2018
Carving up the world into Global North and Global South has become an established way of thinking about global difference since the end of the Cold War. This binary, however, erases what this paper calls the Global East – those countries and societies that occupy an interstitial position between North and South. This paper problematizes the geopolitics of knowledge that has resulted in the exclusion of the Global East, not just from the Global North and South, but from notions of globality in general. It argues that we need to adopt a strategic essentialism to recover the Global East for scholarship. To that end, it traces the global relations of IKEA’s bevelled drinking glass to demonstrate the urgency of rethinking the Global East at the heart of global connections, rather than separate from them. Thinking such a Global East as a liminal space complicates the notions of North and South towards more inclusive but also more uncertain theorising.
Keywords: Global North, Global South, Second World, postcolonialism, postsocialism, post communism, geopolitics of knowledge
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