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Bookshelf: Photo: “Library“, by Stewart Butterfield licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Lees, Nicholas. “The Endurance of the G77 in International Relations: South–South Ideology and Voting at the United Nations 1970–2015.” Japanese Journal of Political Science 24, no. 3 (2023): 310-30.


The voting record of states of the global South at the United Nations General Assembly indicates they are dissatisfied with the US-led liberal international order. Against existing interpretations, this article challenges the notion that states belonging to the Group of 77 (G77) express discontent because they are illiberal and undemocratic. Instead, the article argues that the G77 is composed of a diverse group of states influenced by a common South–South ideology. This foreign policy ideology has a distinct intellectual history and conceptual morphology, grounded in common experience of colonial domination and international peripheralisation. These arguments are tested using a series of multiple regression models, controlling for illiberal characteristics of states and examining the reciprocal influence between G77 membership and voting stance at the United Nations. Disaggregation of General Assembly resolutions and analysis of the text of General Debate speeches corroborates the argument that a coherent set of shared ideas shape how global issues are conceptualised and framed by members of the G77. The results are consistent with the argument that states of the G77 have socialised one another into a shared South–South ideology and that domestic illiberalism is insufficient to explain why they express dissatisfaction with the US-led international order. Ideologies of foreign policy originating in the global South, therefore, should not be overlooked as an influence on world politics.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.