We are very happy to share with you the exciting news that the paper “Liminally Positioned in the South: Reinterpreting Brazilian and Chinese with Relations with Africa” by INFRAGLOB team members Jana Hönke, Eric Cezne and Mia Yifan Yang has been published online in Global Society. The paper is open access and can be accessed free of charge from anywhere in the world here.
As a first little preview, you find the abstract below:
This article brings to fore long-standing intricacies and dilemmas in Brazilian and Chinese diplomatic and corporate narratives. It reveals the complex discursive repertoires shaping these countries’ sense of Self in the world, in the Global South, and, more particularly, in relation to Africa. It observes how constructing South–South relationships and invoking Southern identities have been ambiguous, indeterminate—thus liminal—endeavors in Brazil and China’s international positioning. The article also demonstrates, notwithstanding inherent tensions and contradictions, how Brazilian and Chinese actors have creatively acted upon this liminality to achieve foreign policy goals and frame economic projects in their African relations. The article engages the literature on Brazilian and Chinese relations with Africa, particularly in the post-2000s, to then introduce liminality as a concept to productively nuance and broaden available interpretations of their positioning vis-à-vis the Global South. This is followed by an analysis of how Brazil and China occupy ambiguous—and hence liminal—positions with(in) the “Global South”, based on dissecting Brazilian and Chinese diplomatic and corporate narratives towards Africa. We conclude by discussing the purchase of a liminality lens for understanding variegated positionalities in a changing international order and critically engaging them.