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Compromise and complicity: partnership and interdependence in a global challenges research collaboration

Palladino, Mariangela; Jeffery, Laura; Benslimane, Dounia; Arfaoui, Olfa


Laura Jeffery

Dounia Benslimane

Olfa Arfaoui


This article contributes to debates on international collaborations by examining contradictions between the decolonial turn and the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund which imposed Global North leadership on Global South partners. Through the lenses of compromise and complicity, the article explores how collaborators strive to work together equitably within the constraints of a UK government Official Development Assistance funding scheme. Drawing on focus group discussions with members of a research team, the article traces, first, their engagement with political and institutional constraints and, second, their articulation of collaborative compromise and productive complicity. The article foregrounds the generative potential of complicity as a productive concept that can help partners to navigate the challenges of interdependence and partnership entailed in North–South, South–South, cross-sector and interdisciplinary collaboration.


Palladino, M., Jeffery, L., Benslimane, D., & Arfaoui, O. (2023). Compromise and complicity: partnership and interdependence in a global challenges research collaboration. Global Social Challenges, 1-19.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2023
Publication Date Sep 7, 2023
Deposit Date Aug 18, 2023
Publicly Available Date Sep 26, 2023
Journal Global Social Challenges Journal
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-19
Keywords compromise; complicity; global challenges; development research; collaboration
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Permission is not required to reproduce material published Open Access under a Creative Commons (CC) licence, but usage restrictions do apply, depending on the type of licence under which the material is published.

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