China in Africa : perspectives on development and emergence

Ding, Jin. China in Africa : perspectives on development and emergence. 2020, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_13576

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Over the past few decades, the Chinese government has supported various initiatives to expand China’s global business footprint. A key strategy in this regard has been intensifying involvement in the African continent. By now, China has become Africa's largest trading partner, something which has elicited extensive debates in academia and the international community alike. Concerns regarding the relationship between China and Africa and China’s role in African development have been especially prominent. Critics regard China as an irresponsible global power, a neocolonial force, that exploits African resources in pursuance of a hidden geopolitical agenda (e.g., Bradley, 2016; Rui, Zhang, & Shipman, 2016; Mlambo, Kushamba, & Simawu, 2016; Ghosal, 2016). But is this really the case? The purpose of this dissertation is to examine this more systematically by studying Chinese involvement in Africa from a variety of perspectives.
To capture these perspectives, this dissertation consists of three studies, which focus on Chinese involvement in Africa from a mainstream academic perspective, a Chinese political perspective, and an applied perspective. It draws from a variety of data including mainstream academic publications, government-owned Chinese newspapers, and government and corporate reports on Chinese projects in Africa and uses a combination of methods, including Content Configuration Analysis (CCA), Hermeneutic Content Analysis (HCA), and Multidimensional Scaling (MDS), to analyze these perspectives.
The analyses reveal contrasting positions on China in Africa. While mainstream Eurocentric academic studies tend to portray Africa as child-like and dependent and China and its involvement in Africa within the confines of limited historical stereotypes, this dissertation provides an alternative account of African and Chinese identities. Based on the Chinese political and applied perspectives, Africa is presented as a continent with enormous development potential that is able to enhance its economic and political power by cooperating with foreign actors such as China. In a similar vein, China follows and proactively adapts its own distinctive development approach through its global expansion policies. Specifically, China is seen adapting the Beijing Consensus to local contexts to foster African socio-economic development. It does so, in particular by collaborating with African institutions to address developmental areas the West has hesitated to contribute to. In this way, China sets itself apart from Western approaches and positions itself as a viable alternative global economic and political partner. By examining these contrasting perspectives, this research provides a more nuanced understanding of China, Africa, and China in Africa and invites academics specifically and the international community more generally to rethink old concepts in order to adopt a more context-relevant and culture-sensitive approach to understanding these emerging global dynamics.
Advisors:Bergman, Manfred Max and Leisinger, Klaus M.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Sozialforschung und Methodologie (Bergman)
UniBasel Contributors:Bergman, Manfred Max and Leisinger, Klaus M.
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:13576
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (vi, 262 Blätter)
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Last Modified:22 Jun 2023 13:35
Deposited On:24 Jun 2020 14:02

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