IBSA and South-South Trilateral Cooperation: Framing New Relations and Initiatives for Change

TitleIBSA and South-South Trilateral Cooperation: Framing New Relations and Initiatives for Change
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Sosale, S., and T. C. Rosas-Moreno
Affiliation (1st Author)School of Journalism and Mass Communication The University of Iowa
Section or WGInternational Communication Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeINCW3b
Slot Code (Keyword)INCW3b
Time of Session14:00-15:30
Session TitleSoft power and the changing geopolitics
Submission ID5648

The IBSA countries, India, Brazil and South Africa, are a relatively new consortium of nations that represent a conundrum – they are large developing countries and competitors in the global picture, yet are making attempts to become partners in South-South development, seeking economic and other leverages independent of the North. As Senona (2010) has pointed out in a recent study, South-South cooperation in itself is not new, but contemporary multilateral cooperative efforts bring together seemingly unlikely collaborators for purposes of development and social change. What the consequences of such cooperation will be remains to be seen since this association is still at its infancy (formed in 2003, formalized in 2009) but from the outset, definitions and self-definitions, plans, programs, and initiatives of such cooperative efforts are picked up by the media.   Media coverage and media representations of nations coming together in regional trade and other agreements, even if they don’t bear direct and visible consequences for general media audiences, give the latter a picture of the state of affairs in international relations, policy, and for countries in the South, initiatives for development and change. This study will demonstrate how news media presented IBSA to the general public in each of these countries since its inception in 2003. As points of comparison and contrast, the study will also examine self-representations on the IBSA website to understand the self-projections of this group and their presentations of the trilateral cooperation efforts to an online public.   IBSA pre-dates the larger BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) group of nations, and continues to hold annual meetings even as BRICS has been gaining prominence. Although the idea was conceived in 2003, the consortium was formalized in the Brasilia Declaration in 2009 at the Brasilia meeting. Media research on the BRICS group is gaining momentum, but we are yet to see research related to the IBSA consortium. This study aims to fill the gap, and provide an understanding of this cooperative effort’s mission, discourses, action, and the attempts to differentiate itself from the BRICS consortium through analyses of news representations and online self-representation.   The study will use media framing as conceptual and methodological resources, and apply them to the analysis of coverage of IBSA (all aspects) in two leading news sources (one business, one general) each of India, Brazil, and South Africa. Framing, at both the conceptual and methodological levels, will also be applied to analyze the IBSA website content that contains among other things the Brasilia Declaration, and other declarations and agreements issued by this group of countries. The study intends to provide a clear understanding of mediated representations of IBSA that may serve as a useful resource for governments engaged in such initiatives for strategies on presenting new development coalitions to their citizens.   Reference   Senona, J. (2010). BRIC and IBSA forums: Neoliberals in disguise or champions of the South? SAIIA Policy Briefing 24. http://www.saiia.org.za/images/stories/pubs/briefings/saia_spb_24_senona... Site last visited 20 January 2013.

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