Shaping The Future of Power: Knowledge Production and Network-Building in China-Africa Relations

How do rising powers increase and exercise their influence in Africa? Looking at China’s foreign policy in Africa, one might be compelled to strictly think about China’s military base in Djibouti or Chinese investments in natural resources and infrastructure projects. However, I argue that there is a whole other side to China-Africa relations that is very important to understand yet often gets neglected. The Chinese government spends millions of dollars on professionalization trainings, elite visits, party-to-party relations, and cultural exchanges with African partners. Chinese universities have become the top destination for thousands of Africans seeking higher education degrees. Even when Chinese financial loans to Africa decreased in 2018, pledges to provide scholarships, training opportunities, and exchange visits increased. More on the book here.

Table of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Network-Building in China-Africa Relations: Past and Present
  3. Relationality, Social Capital, and the Future of Power
  4. Guanxi in Military Diplomacy and Security Trainings
  5. Guanxi in Public Diplomacy and Trainings for Journalists
  6. Guanxi in Cultural Diplomacy and Confucius Institutes
  7. Relational Power Beyond China-Africa

Reviews, Podcasts, and Book Talk Chats

March 2021 (tentatively scheduled) Book Talk at the University of Oslo.

February 2021 Great Decisions Lecture Invitation on my book

11/19 African Studies Association Author Meets Critics Roundtable.

10/17 Ep. 97: A conversation with Lina Benabdallah on the link between China and Africa Ufahamu Africa

10/16 Book talk at the University of Ottawas’s Centre for International Policy Studies

09/21 Ep. 34: People-centered Power: Chinese knowledge production, networks, and training programs in Africa – Lina Benabdallah. Belt and Road Podcast.

8/28 MonkeyCage review of #ShapingtheFutureofPower by Dr. Laura Seay: What is China up to in Africa? Read this book.

07/21 Podcast conversation with Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden of the China Africa Project: #ShapingtheFutureofPower

03/05 Book talk at Notre Dame University’s Liu Institute