International Research Collaboratives

Scholars in the Global South: Scholactivists or Interlopers?


Cynthia Farid, Sergio Latorre

The theme of the proposed International Research Collaborative (IRC) is the study of a particularly Global South phenomenon of scholars interloping between academia, praxis and activism. Although academia and praxis are often assumed to be operating in functional silos, in Global South, these spaces are structured in ways that necessitate innovation; thereby causing the scholar to ally with social movements or invest their energies towards the production of counterhegemonic knowledge and events which may not always be done through the traditional route of the academy. Research purely through the scholar-academic model loses sight of other sites of knowledge-production and interventions in the Global South. These scholars make strategic use of the law and provide important links between national and global institutional spaces and political processes that ultimately help advance movements or produce knowledge that is untethered from the imperial or authoritarian structures under which they operate. The role of such lawyers as agents, researchers and practitioners in the global South, therefore, ought to be understood against a complex backdrop of historical factors, professionalization and means of knowledge production. The proposed IRC presents an opportunity to bridge the hemispheric divide in understanding the phenomenon of the prevalence of these scholars and the field in which they operate across various geographical, sociopolitical and temporal contexts.


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