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Beyond ODA: Chinese way of development cooperation with Africa: the case of agriculture

Jiang, Lu (2016) Beyond ODA: Chinese way of development cooperation with Africa: the case of agriculture. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.vsfd3o2934p4


The international development cooperation landscape that has been largely dominated by the OECD-DAC members since the 1960s began to change in recent years with the ‘emergence’ and growing prominence of a group of ‘new’ development partners, many of which come from the Global South. Heated debate has since been going on around the socalled ‘emerging donors’ but much of that is flawed by its DACorientation, an almost exclusive focus on the ODA form of cooperation, as well as a lack of empirical evidence. Against this context, with an intent to further the current research on the Southern development partners, this thesis selects China, one of the most representative among them, and aims to investigate the Chinese ‘development package model’ through the case of its agricultural development cooperation policy and practice in Africa. Specifically, this thesis tries to explain how China’s current ‘package model’ of development cooperation has been shaped by its own decades-long history of aid-giving and reforms. At the same time, it attempts to explore how exactly the ‘package model’ has been played out on the ground, and especially how the innovative commercial elements have been incorporated and utilized in China’s agricultural development cooperation with Africa. Lastly, the thesis examines results of this new ‘package model’ of Chinese development cooperation so far provides a systematic explanation to why the ‘implementation gap’ exists in this specific policy issue. Based on a detailed historical review, the thesis argues that China’s own identity and experiences over the past decades have played a significant role in shaping its current model, and thus balances, to certain extent, the oft-seen ‘DAC/Northern-centric’ tendency of many in observing, judging and sometimes trying to assimilate the Chinese/Southern development cooperation model(s). The thesis also gives an in-depth treatment to the ‘development package’ model through the case of Chinese agricultural cooperation with Africa and compares that with the emerging trend of ‘development PPP’ in the Northern DAC community. It thus enriches the research on Southern development partners and that on development cooperation in general which both tend to focus almost exclusively on ODA. Furthermore, the thesis fills the gap of lack of empirical evidence in the existing literature by incorporating more project-level, fieldwork based case studies on the Chinese/Southern development cooperation model(s). By doing so, the thesis also points out a series of practical problems in the implementation phase that otherwise may not be identified, and more importantly provides a systematic explanation for that ‘implementation gap’. From a theoretical perspective, in order to explain the abovementioned implementation challenges, this thesis adopts the ‘Public Policy Implementation (PPI)’ approach and establishes an analytical framework based on a ‘dialogue’ between the theoretical literature and the empirical data. It thus finds that three aspects – namely the policy per se that structures the implementation process, the policy implementer who are formally or informally mandated to carry out the policy, and the implementation environment wherein the policy is executed – have played a crucial and synergic role in accounting for the observed ‘implementation gap’ of Chinese agricultural cooperation policy in Africa; the ‘implementer’ factor, furthermore, has weighed more strongly in this regard given its potential role in remedying policy imperfections and responding to adverse environment. This ‘policy-implementerenvironment’ framework may also serve as a useful analytical tool for analysing China’s development and foreign policy implementation in other fields in Africa and explaining the implementation results.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Lu Jiang
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Alden, Christopher

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