1st Edition

Southern Theories Contemporary and Future Challenges

Edited By Oliver Mutanga, Tendayi Marovah Copyright 2024
    188 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book critically explores Global South perspectives, examining marginalised voices and issues whilst challenging the supremacy of Global North perspectives in literature. The unique value of this book lies in its extensive coverage of various Southern challenges, including disaster management, climate change, communication, resilience, gender, education, and disability. It also underscores the relevance of indigenous philosophies such as animism, Buen Vivir, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Neozapatism, Qi vitality, Taoism, and Ubuntu. Stemming from regions as diverse as Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, these philosophies are brought into public discourse. By demonstrating their practicality in designing intervention programs and influencing policy-making, the book fills a critical gap in global Southern literature while promoting context-specific knowledge for improving well-being in the Global South contexts. This book’s content resonates with a diverse audience, encompassing students, academics, researchers, NGOs, and policymakers from postcolonial states in the Global South and those from Global North countries.

    Furthermore, it is highly relevant to communities within the Global North that mirror the Global South – those grappling with equity issues for indigenous populations. It has a versatile appeal that transcends disciplinary boundaries, encompassing cultural studies, sociology, international development, philosophy, and postcolonial studies, thus making it accessible to all educational levels. It holds particular interest for those in development studies, indigenous studies, government departments globally, international organisations, and universities worldwide.

    1. Embracing Southern Theories for an Inclusive Future

    Oliver Mutanga

    2. Chinese Philosophy’s Contributions to the Homoverse

    Geir Sigurðsson and Paul. J D’Ambrosio

    3. Qi Vitality and Virtue Cultivation: Embodying and Educating for Eco-Cosmic Citizenry

    Jing Lin, Tom Culham and Yishin Khoo

    4. De-Westernising Communication Thought from a Global South Perspective: The Contributions of Indigenous Approaches from Latin America

    Alejandro Barranquero Carretero and Eva González Tanco

    5. The Role of Indigenous Religion in Building Community Resilience: The Case of the Karen, an Ethnic Minority Group in the Myanmar-Thailand Border Region

    Hee-Chan Song

    6. Disability, Inclusion, and Gross National Happiness: The Complex Case of Bhutan

    Seyda Subasi Singh and Mathew J. Schuelka

    7. Philosophical and Practical Challenges of Ubuntu: Application to Decolonial Activism and Conceptions of Personhood and Disability

    Maria Berghs

    8. Decolonising Gender and Development: The Influence of Ubuntu Philosophy on the Articulation of African Feminism

    Nyamwaya Munthali and Thomas Kitinya Kirina

    9. Neozapatista Decolonial Pedagogy: An Approach to the Disruptive Conceptualisation of the learner

    Jon Igelmo Zaldíva, Gonzalo Jover, and Patricia Quiroga Uceda

    10. Southern Theories: Implications for Epistemic Justice and Sustainable Development

    Tendayi Marovah


    Oliver Mutanga is a disability scholar with a PhD in development studies from the University of the Free State in South Africa. He is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, and a research associate at the University of South Africa’s College of Education. Oliver has been honoured with prestigious awards such as the Marie Sklodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oslo, Norway and the Global Challenges Research Fellowship at University College London’s Institute of Education.

    Tendayi Marovah is a research fellow at the Open Distance Learning Research Unit, College of Education, University of South Africa (UNISA). He is also a lecturer at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. His research interests include curriculum and pedagogy, higher education, social justice, human development, and theorising using the capability approach and Ubuntu philosophy. Tendayi holds a PhD in Africa studies (history) from the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in South Africa. Tendayi’s current practice is grounded in transformative pedagogies informed by Ubuntu philosophy, which aims to develop the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to create a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

    "This well-curated and superb collection of essays - wide in scope, deep in analysis, and refreshing in its breadth - showcase the intellectual beauty, power and necessity of inter-epistemic dialogue as a leitmotif of decolonisation and democratisation of knowledge. Southern thought, theories and concepts are artisanally unearthed, meticulously articulated, and confidently displayed across the contributions. Oliver Mutanga and Tendayi Marovah have done a superb academic job in conceiving this project and assembling a stellar group of scholars to participate in its execution. The South is a majority world, and the voices, thoughts, concepts, and theories from this epistemic site enrich comprehension of the world and offer alternative visions of the future. This book is a compelling and timely scholarship."

    Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Professor/Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South and Vice-Dean of Research in the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence, University of Bayreuth, Germany

    "This is a courageous and exciting collection of essays that seeks to accomplish multiple goals. The common description of the world split between the North and South gives the wrong impression of two equal and balanced forces. The North is the few richest nation-states of the modern world that were built on imperialism and settler colonialism. The South is made up of all the other countries. This volume seeks to pierce through the centuries of epistemic domination of Northern countries, their institutions, their narratives, and their academic paradigms. The diverse topics of the chapters bring forward voices and perspectives that have been ignored and marginalised in global conversations. The chapters also describe internal disagreements, perspectives on priority challenges for non-rich countries, and agenda for collective action against epistemic, structural, and social injustices. This collection harkens a new kind of voice--not "third-world voices" or "southern perspectives" but global perspectives from voices based in the South."

    Sridhar Venkatapuram, Associate Professor in Global Health and Philosophy, King’s College London, UK

    "What challenges are Global South communities themselves concerned with? What innovative philosophies and knowledge-making practices do these communities utilise in the face of these challenges? What philosophies and knowledge-making norms impede community-led solutions? This book answers these questions by weaving together diverse Global South philosophies, practices, and on-the-ground solutions. Documenting personal reflections and local contexts alongside global concerns that traverse the environment, communication, resilience, education, disability, gender, and development, the authors bring rich perspectives for rethinking the role of local communities in global change. By positioning Global South communities' challenges, innovations, and experiences as central, this book provides a platform to decolonise and transform the way knowledge and solutions are produced and consumed."

    Krushil Watene Peter Kraus Associate Professor in Philosophy, University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau, New Zealand