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  • Author: Ben Lampert, Giles Mohan
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's renewed engagement with Africa is often framed as a form of imperialism, with the growing number of Chinese migrants on the continent seen as an exploitative presence. Such claims have generally been based on little evidence, and where more detailed empirical studies have emerged, they tend to emphasise the tensions and conflicts that have arisen. Our research on Chinese migrants in Ghana and Nigeria suggests that while there are concerns about Chinese competition in the informal retail sector and the treatment of local labour in Chinese enterprises, narratives of apparent tension and conflict are often much more nuanced than is generally recognised. Furthermore, more convivial and cooperative relations have also emerged and these have facilitated important opportunities for Africans to benefit from the Chinese presence. However, while the presence of Chinese migrants in African socio-economic life can be more integrated and mutually beneficial than is often assumed, the ability of African actors to benefit from this presence is highly uneven, placing the politics of class at the centre of any understanding of Sino-African encounters.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Nigeria
  • Author: Steven J. Balla, Zhou Liao
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Chinese government has increasingly utilised online consultation as a means of providing citizens with opportunities to offer feedback on draft laws and regulations. As little is known about the operation of online consultation, this article analyses the content of citizen feedback submitted on a revision to China's health system proposed by the National Development and Reform Commission. Citizen engagement with the political and substantive issues under consideration is crucial if online consultation is to impact government decision-making and enhance the performance of laws and regulations. This paper's main findings are that it was common for comments to address substantive issues in great depth, as well as express negative assessments of government decisions. This suggests that online consultation holds promise as an instrument of governance reform, which the Chinese Communist Party has embraced as a means of cultivating popular support.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: With China's emergence as a global economic and political power, it is commonly assumed that its leadership's influence in international politics has increased considerably. However, systematic studies of China's impact on the foreign policy behavior of other states are rare and generally limited to questions regarding economic capabilities and the use of coercive power. This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on China's global political rise by taking a broader perspective. Drawing on voting data from the UN General Assembly for the last two decades, it explores the plausibility of different explanations for foreign policy similarity: economic, diplomatic and military linkages; domestic institutional similarities; and parallel problem‐solving processes. The logistic regression analyses find that high similarity levels correlate with shared regime characteristics and comparable patterns of sociopolitical globalization. The results further indicate that foreign aid and arms trading seem to help buy support in global politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Emerging Markets, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Daniel Flemes, Georg Strüver, Hannes Ebert
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Rising powers have attracted tremendous interest in international politics and theory. Yet the ways in which secondary powers strategically respond to regional changes in the distribution of power have been largely neglected. This article seeks to fill this gap by presenting a systematic comparative analysis of the different types of and causes of contestation strategies undertaken by secondary powers. Empirically, it focuses on two contentious regional dyads in East and South Asia, exploring how structural, behavioral, and historical factors shape the way in which Japan and Pakistan respond, respectively, to China's and India's regional power politics. The paper concludes that the explanatory power of these factors depends on the particular context: in the case of Japan, China's militarily assertive regional role has invoked the most significant strategic shifts, while in the case of Pakistani contestation, shifts in polarity have had the largest impact on the strategic approach.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Japan, China, India
  • Author: Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article reviews dependency postulates and examines whether they are applicable to explain the political economy of China's contemporary relations with Peru. It argues that the dichotomy between Peru as a commodity-providing periphery and China as a core manufacturing centre is insufficient to explain the ways in which power is embedded in the international economic system, and particularly inadequate to identify winners and losers in the international division of labour. Thereby, in line with some recent international political economy discussions of power, the article proposes that China should not be understood as a self-contained economic entity, but as a hub where natural resources are mobilized for transnational production. Furthermore, contending that a focus on nation-states fails to capture the complexity of (under)-development dynamics, it suggests that notions of internal colonialism, flexible sovereignties and postcolonial analyses of representation provide fresher perspectives from which to understand the distribution of power along the political economy of Sino-Peruvian relations.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Heike Holbig, Bruce Gilley
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The contemporary politics of China reflect an ongoing effort by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to claim the right to rule in light of the consequences of economic development, international pressures, and historical change. China stands out within the Asian region for the success the regime has achieved in this effort. By focusing on the changes in China elite discourse during the reform period and particularly during the last decade, this paper aims to elaborate on the relative importance of various sources of legitimacy as they shift over time, as well as on their inherent dilemmas and limitations. There is evidence of an agile, responsive, and creative party effort to relegitimate the post-revolutionary regime through economic performance, nationalism, ideology, culture, governance, and democracy. At the same time, the paper identifies a clear shift in emphasis from an earlier economic‐nationalistic approach to a more ideological-institutional approach.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Cheng Li
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores two interrelated aspects of the new dynamics within the CCP leadership – the new elite groups and the new ground rules in Chinese politics. The first shows profound changes in the recruitment of the elite and the second aims to reveal the changing mechanisms of political control and the checks and balances of the Chinese political system. The article argues that the future of the CCP largely depends on two seemingly contradictory needs: how broad-based will the Party's recruitment of its new elites be on the one hand and how effective will the top leadership be in controlling this increasingly diverse political institution on the other. The emerging fifth generation of leaders is likely to find the challenge of producing elite harmony and unity within the Party more difficult than their predecessors. Yet, the diverse demographic and political backgrounds of China's new leaders can also be considered a positive development that may contribute to the Chinese-style inner-Party democracy.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Gunter Schucher, Jutta Hebel
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's transition to a market economy has been a process of basic institutional changes and institution building. The institutional change from a socialist labour regime (SLR) as one of the backbones upholding the traditional leninist system to a new 'socialist' market labour regime (SMLR) became particularly important for the success of economic and political reforms. This analysis is based on the analytical framework of regimes and makes use of the idea of path dependence. An ensemble of institutions, mutually interconnected and influencing each other, forms the regime and shapes its trajectory. Six institutions are identified to constitute the employment regime: (1) the system of social control, (2) the production system, (3) the system of industrial relations, (4) the welfare system, (5) the family order, and (6) the educational system. The SMLR is still characterised by its socialist past and differs from other varieties of transformation labour regimes and bears little resemblance to labour regimes in Western market economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia