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S2-C: New Approaches to Transnational Gender Politics: Chinese-African Collaboration

Übersicht: 

The research project analyses the potential and pitfalls of South-South collaboration through the perspective of transnational gender politics. Much of contemporary scholarship on the latter topic arose in the reflection of the transnational women’s movement, following its emergence alongside the World Conferences on Women in Nairobi (1985) and in Beijing (1995) as a central sphere of negotiation.

However, over the last few years the ongoing shift in the international order has impacted on various stakeholders within the gender arena both in African and Asian societies. Within the larger context of development and transnational relations the question how South-South cooperation takes place and which topics are negotiated by actors within the gender arena is important. Among the Asian actors, the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) as China’s largest women’s organisation has been particularly active in increasing collaboration with its African counterparts. By cooperating across the otherwise significant continental divide new opportunity structures have emerged. Yet, the related issues have not been explored in existing literature. The project therefore undertakes an analysis of the common issues and challenges that inform current collaboration between the ACWF with gender mechanisms and women’s organisations in selected African countries.

 

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Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

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Talks and Lectures

Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Zur Politik chinesisch-afrikanischer Beziehungen ; Friday, March 6, 2015 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu & Uta Ruppert ; Zivilgesellschaft in Kenia und Äthiopien, SoSe 2014
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; What’s Civil Society Got to Do with It? Beyond the State in Sino-African Relations ; Tuesday, March 11, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Towards a New Gender Politics: African Women’s Movements & their Afro-Asian Encounters ; Wednesday, July 8, 2015 to Friday, July 10, 2015 ; Sorbonne Universität, Paris
Eckl, Frauke; Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu & Thubauville, Sophia (panel convenors) ; South Korean-Ethiopian Interactions ; Tuesday, August 25, 2015 ; Warsaw
Ruppert, Uta & Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel ; Panel: "South-South Cooperation in Gender Politics: Trans-Regionalization as an Alternative Option for Sub-Saharan Africa?" ; Wednesday, June 11, 2014 ; Bayreuth University
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Neue Ansätze zivilgesellschaftlicher Geschlechterpolitik: Chinesisch-afrikanische Kooperationen zur Bekämpfung von Frauenarmut ; Thursday, February 7, 2013 ; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
South Africa and China - Politics and Perspective ; Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu & John Njenga Karugia, SoSe 2015 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Gender(ed) Matters: Revisiting Chinese-African Relations ; Friday, December 12, 2014 ; Guangzhou, China
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Gender Politics in Africa: International Dimensions, WiSe 2013/14 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; From the Margins to the Centre? New Perspectives on Sino-African Relations ; Friday, February 20, 2015 ; New Orleans
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; From Sisterhood to Friendship: African Women’s Movements in Chinese-African Relations ; Wednesday, March 25, 2015 ; Cape Town, South Africa
Ruppert, Uta & Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel ; Feminism(s) Prospects in Africa: Perspectives on Transformation and Stabilization ; Thursday, August 7, 2014 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Decolonizing Epistemologies, Methodologies and Ethics: Postcolonial-Feminist Interventions ; Thursday, July 2, 2015 ; Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Africa in World Politics / African World Politics, SoSe 2016 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; 'Beijing Created a War between the Sexes' – Transnational Gender Politics in Rwanda after '94 ; Wednesday, June 18, 2014 ; HU Berlin

S2-A: Trade Networks and Migration Between Africa and Asia

Übersicht: 

While the activities of Africans in Asia are often overlooked; Asian – especially Chinese – engagement in Africa has become a focal point of interest in Western public discourse. This project explores the differences between the organization of African and Asian networks. It investigates the types of networks (from family to international enterprises), the sectors of trade and mutual impacts of different cultural practices on interactions and decisions. The focus on cultural and economic repercussion of trade, as it is perceived from the local actors’ point of view, allows to study the organization of trade networks, the development of entrepreneurial strategies, as well as the establishment of migrant trader communities.

The project’s focus on anthropological methodology and epistemological interest is the basis for the comparison within the project, even though the conditions in the research countries differ.

The key research questions of the project are as follows: What kind of trade do African and Asian states support? What are the ideological and historical themes that characterize the policies of these countries? What can be found out about the experiences of migration that Africans and Asians encounters in the respective foreign cultural context? Do these experiences differ from those made migrants in Europe? To which extent have these processes modified trade and contributed to the formation of new networks? What kind of discourses have been developed about the activities of Asians in Africa and vice versa? How do Africans evaluate the infrastructural development and the provision of goods in contrast to the increasing presence of strangers? How is competition for African enterprises created and whose cultural difference is often interpreted negatively? Do these evaluations have an impact on the trade networks? How is trade organized on the level of personal interaction?

One major research focus of the project lies on trade goods in order to find answers to these questions mentioned above. Following particular items like tea not only enables the project to understand supply chains from Chinese producers over traders in import and export to the market mechanisms in West African countries like Mali. This approach also reveals insight in the long history of trade and transformation of Green Tea from a mere product to a cultural practice, which is deeply rooted in Malian society today and becomes increasingly prominent in adjacent countries. A case study in Thailand among Malians, who trade with precious stones, revealed that Africans establish networks in Asia through modifying and adapting successful models that were developed in an African context. These activities give a clear idea about “African agency” in trade. Furthermore, they reverse simplistic notions of Africa only being the receiver of processed goods and exporting raw material.

Another focus of research are the activities of Chinese traders in South Africa. Thousands of Chinese traders arrived in the last 25 years from mainland China. While first-comers benefitted from the high demand in low-priced consumer goods; market saturation and macro-economic tendencies influence and transform the Chinese trader communities nowadays. Traders who have developed a sense for the demands in South Africa, found niches or were able to diversify their businesses, do have an advantage. These activities go often hand in hand with development of social, cultural and political ties in the host countries, where a relatively stable community of Chinese does already exist or is in the making. In all cases, the research showed that successful trade often depends on highly skilled brokers, not only in the economic arena, but also as cultural intermediaries. Researching interpersonal relationships allows to paint a profoundly more complex picture than mere generalizations of Asian/African dependencies, which this project aims to do.

Research is carried out in West Africa (Cameroon, Mali) and in South Africa as well as in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and China. The broad regional choice provides opportunities for the comparison of historically and culturally divergent regions.

The research is conducted by the following team of scholars:

Ute Röschenthaler researches in close cooperation with Antoine Socpa Cameroonian and Malaysian trade networks, in cooperation with Birama Diakon the network of Malian and Chinese traders in Mali and China, and with Shigehiro Sasaki African trade networks in Japan. Mamadou Diawara explores Malian migrants in Indonesia and returnees in Bamako. Matthias Gruber researches Chinese/South African trade networks in South Africa.


Kontakt: 

Ort: 

Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

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Talks and Lectures

Röschenthaler, Ute & Julia Binter ; Trade, crisis and cultural entrepreneurship in the Niger Delta and the Cross River Region ; Saturday, October 3, 2015 ; Marburg
Diawara, Mamadou ; The Time-Tested Traditionist: Intellectual Trajectory and Mediation from the Early Empires to the Present Day. Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects: Politics, History and the West African Past ; Thursday, November 12, 2015 to Saturday, November 14, 2015 ; Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) and Centre of West African Studies (CWAS), University of Birmingham
Ute Röschenthaler ; The History of Green Tea in Mali and Beyond ; Thursday, May 15, 2014 ; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Ute Röschenthaler ; The History of Green Tea in Africa ; Thursday, December 18, 2014 ; Bejing University
Diawara, Mamadou ; The Call of the ‘Bush’: Malian Migrants on their Way to Asia ; Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur
Diawara, Mamadou ; Seeing like scholars. Whose exile? Making a life in being at home and abroad ; Wednesday, March 25, 2015 ; Kapstadt
Ute Röschenthaler ; Commercial Networks and Cultural Brokers: Cameroonian Traders in China ; Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Diawara, Mamadou ; China und Afrika, SoSe 2013 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Röschenthaler, Ute; Haugen, Heide & Michaela Pelican ; Challenges to African entrepreneurship in Malaysia ; Thursday, July 9, 2015 ; Sorbonne, Paris
Ute Röschenthaler ; Brokers as Intermediaries in Commercial Trade Networks ; Sunday, December 14, 2014 ; Jinan University, Guangzhou
Röschenthaler, Ute ; Bewegung von Menschen und Gütern im globalen Kontext ; Wednesday, July 1, 2015 ; Hannover
Diawara, Mamadou ; Bangkok as a "Bush". Preliminary findings on African migrants facing Asia ; Tuesday, April 1, 2014 ; Thammasat University
Diawara, Mamadou ; Asien in Afrika, WiSe 2014/15
Diawara, Mamadou ; Asia as Horizon and Home for West Africans from the 1980s ; Saturday, August 8, 2015 ; Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study
Diawara, Mamadou ; (Dis-)connections in Histories of African Studies on the Continent and Beyond, ; Friday, July 10, 2015 ; Sorbonne, Paris

S1-A: Parastatal Companies and Capitalist Development: The Interaction of South African and Chinese Enterprises in the Services Sector

Übersicht: 

Within the services sector, parastatals are a major driving force in many economies, particularly by providing other firms with essential services like telecommunication. Due to increased foreign direct investment and to the extension of trade agreements (including the harmonisation of national regulations on the services sectors) these firms shift from a national market to a transnational outlook. The project focuses on South African and Chinese (partially) state-owned firms in the banking and telecommunication sector. First, we identify the political economy, institutions and mechanisms within those sectors in South Africa and China, while keeping in mind the identification of political and economic motivations as well as possible complementarities. In doing so, we take a closer look at the different enterprises, their national collaborations and interactions, and their socio-economic impact on their societies (in particular on labour relations). Second, we focus on the interaction between South African and Chinese enterprises. The different kinds of interaction between the parastatals could be classified as direct interactions (e.g. with regard to investments) and/or interactions on the global level (e.g. through regulation processes).

The result of the project will be an interdisciplinary exchange between different research spaces. The role of (partially) state-owned firms will be analysed in the current national capitalist model, as well as in transnational cooperation. Therefore, we will exchange data and compare individual research results during research stays. Research will be made available via publications and presentations. This small project adds on the micro level and contributes in the understanding of firms as an actor in the Africa-Asia Interaction.

Kontakt: 

Ort: 

Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

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Talks and Lectures