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China in Africa and prospects for accountable development Giles Mohan, The Open University DSA Annual Conference Session on Effective States and Inclusive.

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Presentation on theme: "China in Africa and prospects for accountable development Giles Mohan, The Open University DSA Annual Conference Session on Effective States and Inclusive."— Presentation transcript:

1 China in Africa and prospects for accountable development Giles Mohan, The Open University DSA Annual Conference Session on Effective States and Inclusive Development London, 3 rd November 2012

2 Research questions What are the emerging and potential impacts of China in Africa on the interconnected processes of: (a) more effective and accountable forms of governance for development, and (b) elite commitment to development? Full paper available:

3 Existing takes on China-Africa politics Destructive of good governance Focus on African states/regime-types Chinas flexibility and pragmatism

4 Building blocks: Channels and regimes Pariah states Iliberal regimes and weak democracies Democratic countries with diversified economies Kaplinskys Asian Drivers framework ChannelImpacts ComplementaryCompetitive DirectIndirectDirectIndirect Trade Investment Aid Governance Migrants Environment Aldens schema of the African state

5 ChannelImpacts by state type Pariah states (e.g. Sudan) Illiberal regimes and weak democracies (e.g. Angola) Democratic countries with diversified economies (e.g. Ghana) DirectIndirectDirectIndirectDirectIndirect TradeCheaper manufactures; Oil revenue UnknownCheaper manufactures; Oil revenue UnknownCheaper manufactures; Mineral revenue; Textile and construction firms feeling competition Dutch Disease effects from recent oil discovery InvestmentInfrastructure investment; Possibly crowding in other Asian FDI Infrastructure investment; Limited local employment UnknownInfrastructure investment (e.g. Bui, Kpone); Significant local employment International donors using Chinese firms AidSocial and economic infrastructure; Some vanity projects Buys support for China in multilateral forums Social and economic infrastructure; Some vanity projects Buys support for China in multilateral forums Social and economic infrastructure; Some vanity projects Buys support for China in multilateral forums DAC donors concerned about lack of Chinese engagement GovernanceElite brokerage Involvement in internal conflicts International backlash over Darfur Elite brokerage Exacerbates lack of transparency China supportive of EITI Elite brokerage Limited impact Civil society accommodating rather than confrontational INGOs and BWIs concerned about resource curse MigrantsEmployment creation Some politicisation and targeting of migrants Limited impactEmployment creation Some politicisation of migrant presence Limited impactEmployment creation; No major social tensions Limited impact

6 Disaggregating flows State-backed and large private companies – managerial and professional staff in urban HQs who have to mix, especially as move to pursue private sector contracts. Some stay and establish their own companies. Independent entrepreneurs – often well educated from highly developed areas of China. Much focus on traders but often they are actually agents of companies in China. Presence and potential in manufacturing needs to be recognised.

7 Angola: Hybrid and relational state spaces China Investment Fund Gabinete de Reconstrução Nacional 88 Queensway, Hong Kong

8 State agency Hybrid and shadowy assemblages of state and non-state actors States as emergent and disaggregated processes Transnational networks interpolate with territorial states local, national and transnational actors forge and remake the state through processes of negotiation, contestation and bricolage (Hagmann & Peclard 2010: 544)

9 Synthesis and conclusion Elites and inclusion Cements but does not transform patrimonialism in negative ways Effective development for some Weak regulatory environment can exacerbate negative impacts Legitimacy and policy space Enhances regime legitimacy Infrastructures of governance potentially positive Opens up limited policy space


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