Global arenas of knowledge
AN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH PROJECT FUNDED BY THE AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL, 2013–2016
This project explores the dynamics of organised knowledge production on a world scale. The aim of the research is to help build a more democratic, multicentred, model of knowledge. It is informed by Southern Theory (Connell, 2007), a critical analysis of the way the rich countries of the Global North, notably the US, UK, and some member states of the EU, dominate and replicate a certain world view of what constitutes useful and valid knowledge.
Implicit in this is a dynamic process of assimilation: knowledge development in the countries of the Global South is presented with the same production and accumulation processes that exclude and select ideas and practices for the world view of the metropole.
The Global Arenas of Knowledge project equally is concerned to understand the breadth and depth of authentic theory building and contributions to organised knowledge that occur outside the metropoles of the Global North. Indeed, only by making explicit the way knowledge is organised by and for the Global North can alternative knowledge making processes be understood.
The project focuses on three areas of major international scientific significance within the past 30 years – climate change, gender and HIV-AIDS – in three countries on the periphery of the Global North: Brazil, South Africa and Australia.
These domains of knowledge are of global interest but to what extent do their manifestations in the three very different countries conform or diverge? The project explores the shape of organised knowledge domains in these countries by tracing the life histories of selected scholars, and studying publication trends and citation data as well as the infrastructure supporting knowledge production.
The research draws together scholars from Australia, South Africa and Brazil – three countries with developing capacities and connections with the global production of knowledge in the metropole.
Professor Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney