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Southward Bound

China's President Xi Jinping (front C) walks with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (front L), Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (middle row 2nd L), Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe (middle row L) and other African leaders after a group photo session during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on September 3, 2018. HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP

In moments of despair, when one spirals about, say, a genocide happening in front of our eyes, it’s sometimes good to read something silly and amusing. For me, this has recently been the spectacle of European and American commentators struggling with the term “Global South.”

The latest is a piece in Project Syndicate by the foreign policy deity Joseph Nye. Not to hate on Nye, whose work on soft power has set a whole field of debate, but the piece is emblematic of many of these takes in somehow being both pedantic and befuddled.

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