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Title: G20: The Global South's New Status-Seeking Platform?
Author(s): Jagtiani, Sharinee
Hoffmann, Clemens
Prys-Hansen, Miriam
Bilgic, Ali
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Keywords: G20
Foreign Policy
International Politics
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2022
Date Deposited: 21-Dec-2022
Citation: Jagtiani S, Hoffmann C, Prys-Hansen M & Bilgic A (2022) <i>G20: The Global South's New Status-Seeking Platform?</i>. GIGA Focus Global, 7. SSOAR.
Series/Report no.: GIGA Focus Global, 7
Abstract: Status matters to all states. For some from the Global South, status ambitions drive foreign policies. International venues like the G20 are perfect tools to pursue such ambitions. How, then, does status drive the foreign policies of the Global South and how does it inform their leadership of the G20? How and why should the Global North engage with such status ambitions? Status is about one's standing in a social hierarchy and can be understood as a set of shared beliefs about a state. States often communicate their status ambitions through "vanity projects" such as a space programme or become diplomatically very proactive in international forums. On the one hand, status ambitions can contribute to efforts that strengthen international stability and global governance, such as conflict mediation and humanitarianism. They can also deepen instability in the form of revisionism, regional interventions, and challenges to the rules-based international order. The year 2023 will see an Indian presidency of the G20. For a country that has long aspired to a seat in global multilateral institutions, India is mobilising the platform-and will continue to do so-to amplify its status ambitions. With India's rise potentially impacting the global balance of power, a careful reading of its status concerns as manifested in its G20 presidency is both valuable and necessary. At the current conjuncture of a global polycrisis, it is imperative to create conditions conducive to cooperation between large developing countries and the European Union / Germany. Attention to status concerns implies acknowledgement of hierarchies between states and can create the foundations for establishing relations and partnerships on a level playing field. Policy Implications Seeking status is an important driver of foreign policy in the Global South. Intangible and challenging to identify, status considerations sometimes explain puzzling policy outcomes. They draw attention to the role of the reputation-al gains that lead states to prioritise certain issues over others. For European decision-makers, attention to status concerns when engaging with the Global South can make for better understanding among partners and help strengthen diplomatic interaction.
Rights: The GIGA Focus is an Open Access publication and can be read on the Internet and downloaded free of charge at According to the conditions of the Creative-Commons license Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 ( this publication may be freely duplicated, circulated and made accessible to the public. The particular conditions include the correct indication of the initial publication as GIGA Focus and no changes in or abbreviation of texts.
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