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China, Africa, and the international aid system: a challenge to (the norms underpinning) the neoliberal world order?

Gilpin, Shaquille (2021) China, Africa, and the international aid system: a challenge to (the norms underpinning) the neoliberal world order? Journal of Asian and African Studies. ISSN 1097-2129

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00219096211063804


The China–Africa relationship has received increased interest over the past few decades as scholars critically examine the challenge that China, in its quest for a closer strategic partnership with Africa, poses to the norms governing the neoliberal world order (NLWO). One crucial aspect of this is international aid, and how Chinese aid to Africa differs from Western aid. This paper argues that Chinese aid reduces the power of traditional aid donors to shape the development route of African countries. This new development finance ultimately breaks the monopoly of Western aid to decide how poor countries in the global ‘South’ develop. In doing so, the Sino–African aid relationship is challenging the current world order as it offers African states the possibility to decouple (or delink) themselves from the global economy. By challenging assumed neoliberal economic development fundamentals, this relationship, if harnessed correctly by African leaders, can pose longer-term ideological questions around the very set of ideas that underpin development itself, while enabling African states the policy space needed to pursue more sustainable development from an Afro-centric perspective. It is this possibility to delink, due to changing ideological fundamentals concerning economic development, that is the challenge China and Africa pose to the NLWO.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2021 16:51
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 16:00

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