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Framed by contested interpretations of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, this article aims to conduct a first evaluation of the BRICS development and education cooperation agenda as a case study of South-South cooperation (SSC). Methodologically, as a theory-based case study that integrates exploration with illustration and explanation, an analytical review of Anglophone academic BRICS education literature combines with contents and discourse analysis of BRICS cooperation documents from 2009-2017. While the mainstream international and comparative education literature, embedded in (neo)realist international relations theory, limits itself to individual BRICS member country case studies, a critical approach associated with counter-dependency theory in conjunction with SSC as an analytical category transcends methodological nationalism by exploring common agendas, projects, relations and potential synergies generated within BRICS as an analytical unit. While a more pronounced and assertive BRICS SSC agenda has emerged over time, the findings do not permit to unambiguously conclude that BRICS education cooperation produces a counter-structure to the neoliberal global governance of education. However, we nonetheless perceive BRICS education cooperation as contributing to building a counterdependency structure. Future empirical research will have to inquire about the de facto implementation of this agenda.

About the authors

Thomas Muhr

Habib University Karachi; Pakistan University of Nottingham

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Political Sociology, Assistant Professor, Social Development & Policy, Habib University, Karachi, Pakistan; Honorary Assistant Professor, Centre for International Education Research (CIER), University of Nottingham, UK

Mário de Azevedo

Universidade Estadual de Maringá


PhD, Professor, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Brasil)


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Copyright (c) 2018 Muhr T., Azevedo M.d.

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