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Production, trade, and consumption in South-South: Re-theorizing from below (completed)

Trade between developing countries constitutes an increasing proportion of global trade. Increasingly more of global production is now bound for consumption in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Nigerian and Chinese flags

Illustration: ©


The centre of gravity in the global economy is moving from the north to the south. The aim of this investigation into chains of added value in the south is to further develop current theory within economic geography.


The primary objective is to advance meso-level theories on transnational economic relations by examiningthe organization of production, trade, and consumption in  South-South commodity flows. 

The secondary objectives are to

  1. Examine how the production for South-South trade is organized through case studies of Chinese garments and cables exported to Nigeria.
  2. Examine the routes through which goods are brought from China to Nigeria, and the roles played by traders, middle men,logistics agents, customs officers, and smugglers along the way.
  3. Examine how Chinese goods are distributed to consumers in Nigeria and how market information is fed back to producers.
  4. Contribute to methodological discussions in research on the social organization of the economy by demonstrating the value of multi-sited ethnographic studies.
  5. Develop theories on the social organization of production, trade, and consumption to improve their ability to explain emerging global economic trends.

Project period

May 2013 - May 2017

Funding scheme

The total grant award was for NOK 3 751 000.

  • Independent basic research projects, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • The Research Council of Norway


  • Nigeria
  • China
  • UK


  • Sun Yat-Sen University, China
  • London School of Economics, UK 
Tags: Global South, Economic geography, Trade, China, Africa
Published Sep. 14, 2016 12:37 PM - Last modified May 11, 2020 11:40 AM