n Africa Insight - The challenges of theorising about the Global South - a view from an African perspective

Volume 45, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Following the huge critique against dominant theories of planning and urban change adopted from the North, theorising about the south has come into vogue in recent years, with a wide-range of passionate debates. The book 'Theory from the South', written by Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, has stimulated much fan-fare and added more momentum to the debates about theory of the south. Using the reaction towards this book, in part, and the many writings on the subject, e.g. Jenny Robinson, etc., this paper seeks to engage the challenging issues and debates involved in the endeavour to develop theories of the south. The paper is conceptually situated within a post-colonial perspective and looks at attempts at theorising about the south by drawing examples from South Africa and the developing world in general. The exploration of these issues seeks to draw out lessons for the discipline of urban studies, in general, but planning in particular.

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