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African Political Elites and the Making(s) of the China Model in Africa

the Talk
For the Research Colloquium of the Chair for Sociology of Africa, University of Bayreuth, we will have a special guest, Dr Obert Hodzi, Lecturer of Politics at the University of Liverpool (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/politics/staff/obert-hodzi/). He will be sharing with us his recently published article, “African Political Elites and the Making(s) of the China Model in Africa” in Politics & Policy, which is available Open Access here:  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/polp.12380.
The time of the talk is from 16:15 to 17:30 (CET) on 24th  Feb 2021. Dr Obert Hodzi will first speak for about 45 minutes, after which we will open up the floor for questions from 17:00-17:30. We welcome your participation in our research colloquium, and please do make sure to REGISTER before the event: https://uni-bayreuth.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5IpdOGhrjMoHt0V65n9brnaGZ0JEpM0_M4C

Abstract
States in Africa are labelled “system ineffectual,” inconsequential to global politics, and lacking material and ideational capabilities to structure their foreign relations. The result is a portrayal of a passive Africa at the whims of its bilateral partners—be they China, the United States, or Russia. Contra this impolitic framing of Africa, this article explores how states in Africa are strategically shaping the norms of development paradigms promoted by foreign powers and influencing external actors to legitimize their preferred norms. Empirically focusing on China’s development model in Africa, the article examines how norms related to the model are being shaped and diffused; and how through the ingenuity of political elites, China is making the China model “on the go.” The main argument is that political elites in Africa are strategically reconstructing the China model, creating their own multifaceted versions that delicately balance their own domestic interests and their bilateral relations with China while deriving maximum benefits from the People’s Republic of China.