In order to provide an international structure for the humane and scientific study of Global South peoples, problems and issues, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life, Dr. Harold Isaacs, Professor of History at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, founded the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS), Inc., in 1983. In early 2016, by vote of the members of the association, the name of the association was changed to Association of Global South Studies and its journal, correspondingly, to Journal of Global South Studies.
Since 1983 the Association has held 35 annual international conferences, published 69 issues of its main publication, the Journal of Global South Studies (JGSS), formerly Journal of Third World Studies, as well as ATWS Conference Proceedings, and an ATWS Newsletter. ATWS became an institution in 1991 when elected officials (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Council members, and Chairpersons of standing committees) assumed responsibility for the management of the organization. In 1992 Georgia Southern University became Executive Headquarters, administered by an Executive Director selected by the Executive Council. The Executive Headquarters are now at Louisiana State University Shreveport. Dr. William D. Pederson, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, and Director of the International Lincoln Center for American Studies, is the Executive Director of AGSS. In 1995 the United Nations granted U.N. “consultative status,” thus enabling the Association to increase its direct impact on Global South issues and developments. A web site was established in 1996.
AGSS has an international impact through the worldwide circulation of JGSS, U.N. “consultative status,” the AGSS web site, chapters in South Asia and Africa (Kenya & Nigeria), and contributions of scholarly articles and book reviews to JGSS by Global South scholars The South Asia chapter, founded by Dr. Isaiah Azariah, who passed away in January, 2005, has held fifteen successful conferences, the latest May 24, 2010 in Kerala, India., and members of chapters in Kenya and Nigeria have attended AGSS annual conferences and are prolific contributors to JGSS. The Kenya chapter held its sixth and extremely successful conference in November 2005 at Western University College of Science and Technology in Kakemega, Kenya, drawing participants from Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Dr. Harold Isaacs served as Executive Director from 1983 to 1989, and organized the first eight annual meetings. Dr. Isaacs was also Provisional President and Secretary-Treasurer between 1989 and 1991, and served as Treasurer from 1983 to 1997. In 1984 he founded the Journal of Third World Studies (JTWS) and has served as Editor-In-Chief to 2015 when he passed away.
- Provide ongoing open forums to discuss and analyze Global South problems and developments from different perspectives or viewpoints, and thus improve understanding of the underlying forces shaping the destiny of the Global South and impacting global developments.
- Promote professional development through the encouragement of research, publication and teaching in the area of Global South Studies.
- Facilitate professional and social communication by sponsoring activities which will bring together persons interested in Global South Studies
- Promote the enhancement of the quality of life of Global South peoples through application of primary research findings, and formal association with private and public institutions involved with development in the Global South.
- Sponsor lectures, seminars, symposia, conferences, including an Annual Meeting, focusing on Global South problems and developments.
- Publish a newsletter and selected papers and periodicals.
- Sponsor travel enrichment seminars which will provide opportunities to acquire first-hand knowledge of Global South peoples and problems.
- Encourage interested individuals to support institutions and organizations associated with development in the Global South.
- Recognize excellence in research, publication and teaching by appropriate awards and prizes.
U.N. Consultative Status:
In August 1995, ATWS won “Consultative Status” as a non-governmental organization (NGO) to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). This status, which allows ATWS to increase its direct impact on current Global South issues and developments, came after more than a year of petitioning by then ATWS Executive Director Zia Hashmi and former ATWS President Paul Magnarella who deserve praise for their persistence.
In August 1995, ATWS (AGSS) won “Consultative Status” as a non-governmental organization (NGO) to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). NGOs which have been granted Consultative Status may sit as observers at public meetings of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies and commissions, and submit written statements, or proposals, relevant to the work of ECOSOC. They can also make oral statements in the Council’s commissions and its subsidiary bodies. Consultative Status with the UN also gives NGOs access to an enormous amount of written material generated by the UN system.
In 1996 Mr. Charles Liebling was designated as ATWS’ New York representative to the UN, with Paul Magnarella serving as additional representative. Mr. Liebling’s successor was Dr. Julius Ihonvbere, world renowned Africanist. The current representative is Dr. Lauren Eastwood, who teaches in the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice at the State University of New York – Plattsburgh. Members interested in submitting policy proposals to be presented at the U.N. should contact Dr. Eastwood at:
Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681