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Book Launch Sweet Talk: Paternalism and Collective Action in North-South Trade Negotiations

Book Launch Sweet Talk: Paternalism and Collective Action in North-South Trade Negotiations
Speaker: Professor JP Singh # Director, Institute for International Cultural Relations
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Date and Time
15th Mar 2017 14:00 - 15th Mar 2017 15:30
Project Room, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JU

Developed nations strive to create the impression that their hearts and pockets bleed for the developing world. Yet, the global North continues to offer unfavorable trade terms to the global South. Truly fair trade would make reciprocal concessions to developing countries while allowing them to better their own positions. However, five hundred years of colonial racism and post-colonial paternalism have undermined trade negotiations.

While urging developing countries to participate in trade, the North offers empty deals to "partners" that it regards as unequal. Using a mixed-methods approach, J. P. Singh exposes the actual position beneath the North's image of benevolence and empathy: either join in the type of trade that developed countries offer, or be cast aside as obstreperous and unwilling. Singh reveals how the global North ultimately bars developing nations from flourishing. His findings chart a path forward, showing that developing nations can garner favorable concessions by drawing on unique strengths and through collective advocacy. Sweet Talk offers a provocative rethinking of how far our international relations have come and how far we still have to go.

Co-sponsored by Politics and International Relations, and the School of Economics.