A. McGregor, D. Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference book

7 Citations (Scopus)


North–South is commonly used to refer to directions on a map but has more recently become a way of imagining global geopolitics by categorizing countries according to certain ‘northern’ or ‘southern’ traits. Northern countries (often referred to as the Global North) are typically assumed to be richer, more developed, and more powerful than those in the south (the Global South), which have become associated with underdevelopment and poverty. North–South also refers to the relationship between the two zones, with the Global North typically seen as dominating the Global South through exploitative trade relationships and through political control of powerful multilateral institutions. There are many problems with the North–South geographic imaginary, not least the recent rapid economic growth of many Southern economies, yet it remains a useful division for identifying inequalities and challenges within North–South relations. Political, economic, sociocultural, and environmental challenges can all be read through the North–South lens to reveal biases, injustices, and resistances at the global scale. In identifying problems in current North–South relationships, Southern activists are able to critique global geopolitical arrangements and agitate for positive changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational encyclopedia of human geography
EditorsNigel Thrift, Rob Kitchin
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780080449104
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Brandt report
  • Bretton woods
  • North
  • Power
  • South
  • United Nations
  • Colonialism
  • Debt
  • Development
  • Foreign aid
  • Geopolitics
  • Global economy
  • Globalization
  • Inequality


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