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Call for Papers: International Development Cooperation and Multipolarity: Scrambling North and South? – a special issue of RBPI

The International Development Cooperation field is in a state of disarray. Since its emergence, after World War II, it acquired a dual structure encompassing two positions: developed and developing countries, donors and recipients, north and south. Two clubs reflected these positions: DAC/OECD and G-77, respectively. Two sets of practices also identified the field: Official Development Assistance (ODA), and Technical or Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC and ECDC), later known as South-South Cooperation (SSC). Both practices, ODA and SSC, distinguished development cooperation from other economic flows such as trade or foreign investment.

Despite many changes about the very understanding of what development meant, development agents have adapted to relevant systemic changes. The field emerged within a bi-polar system and remained relatively unchanged for almost six decades. It survived the systemic transformation that took place after the end of the Cold War and kept relatively steady during the unipolar moment of the 1990s. While its agents played an essential role in establishing superpowers’ zones of influence, they also gave a significant contribution to the market-oriented reforms that happened later.

Nevertheless, after the 2000s emerging powers and the financial crisis had a significant impact upon the field’s foundations. Indeed, the current systemic change towards multipolarity is producing germane effects upon the ground. The growing engagement of BRICS, MIST and Arabic countries in development cooperation evidences the systemic change, generating a mirror effect on traditional donors’ stances, clubbing and practices. The transformation of the field includes:

(i) changes in the concepts and practices of both ODA and SSC;

(ii) oscillations on the positions agents play in the field (donor, recipient, provider, partner or donor/recipient);

(iii) variations in grouping, coalitions and initiatives (DAC/OECD, UNDCF, GPEDC, G77+China, G20, plus BRICS or IBSA);

(iv) shifts towards other economic flows, such as trade and investment, described as blended finance;

(v) a growing centrality of triangular cooperation;

All these trends point towards a structural transformation of the International Development Cooperation field. It is against this backdrop that the Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional (RBPI) calls academic researchers and practitioners to submit contributions to this special issue. The issue aims at analyzing and assessing the current transformations in International Development Cooperation practices, governance and goals. We welcome contributions addressing how systemic changes are impacting on international development cooperation as well as those addressing the topics described above.

Paulo Esteves (Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute of International Relations / PUC-Rio) and Geovana Zoccal (Humboldt Research Fellow at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) will edit the volume. All submissions should be original and unpublished, must be written in English, including an abstract which does not exceed 60 words (and 4-6 keywords in English), and follow the Chicago System. They must be in the range of 8.000 words (including title, abstract, bibliographic references, and keywords). RBPI general authors guidelines can be found here. Submissions must be done at (Online Submissions).

Articles can be submitted from September 1st, 2019 until January 31th, 2020.

RBPI is published exclusively online at Scielo (, following the continuous publication model. This model gives faster publication for authors and also faster access for readers because the articles are published online at the very moment their editorial production is finished. The first segment will be likely released in January 2020.

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