South Africa

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.

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AFRASO Publications

Cissé, Daouda; Sven Grimm and Andreas Nölke ; 2014 ; State-Directed Multinational Enterprises and Transnational Governance: Chinese Investments in Africa, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Norms ; CCS Discussion Paper ; Center for Chinese Studies, Universität Stellenbosch ; 1 ; https:\\www.die-gdi.de/uploads/media/CCS_DP_Corporate_Responsibilities_Cisse_Grimm_Nolke_20141.pdf
Nölke, Andreas ; 2015 ; Second Image Revisited: The Domestic Sources of China’s Foreign Economic Policies, ; International Politics ; Special issue: 52 (6)
Nölke, Andreas ; 2015 ; Rising Powers and Transnational Private Governance. The International Accounting Standards Board ; Rising Powers and Multilateral Institutions ; Lesage, Dries & Thijs Van de Graaf ; Palgrave Macmillan ; Basingstoke & New York ; 96-116
Nölke, Andreas ; 2015 ; Introduction - Second Image Revisited: The Domestic Sources of China’s Foreign Economic Policies. ; International Politics ; 52 (6) ; 657–665
Nölke, Andreas, ten Brink, Tobias; Claar, Simone & Christian May ; 2015 ; Domestic structures, foreign economic policies and global economic order: Implications from the rise of large emerging economies. ; European Journal of International Relations ; 21 (3) ; 538–567
Lüthje, Boy and Miao Tian ; 2015 ; China’s Automotive Industry: Structural Impediments to Socio-economic Rebalancing ; International Journal of Automotive Management and Technology ; Dr. Giuseppe Giulio Calabrese ; Vol. 15 ; Inderscience Publishers
Nölke, Andreas; Claar, Simone; May Christian & Tobias ten Brink ; 2015 ; Bildet sich in den Schwellenländern eine neue Form des Kapitalismus heraus? Implikationen für die Weltwirtschaftsordnung ; Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft ; 25 (1) ; 89–97

Talks and Lectures

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.


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AFRASO Publications

Röschenthaler, Ute and Dorothea Schulz ; 2016 ; Cultural Entrepreneurship in Africa ; Oxon / New York: Routledge

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

S2-B: African-Asian Migration and Development

Übersicht: 

In the age of globalization the frequency of international migration and with it its socioeconomic impact on source and destination areas are steadily increasing. Following the rise of new economic powers in the formerly “developing world”, empirical trends show that, in contrast to conventional North-South migration patterns, international movements within the global South are gaining momentum quickly. In search of new job and investment opportunities Africans and Asians alike start migrating between both continents and create new forms of intercultural and economic exchange.

With this being said, the project seeks to shed light on the socioeconomic causes and consequences of migration between Africa and Asia. The objective is to identify and understand the underlying microeconomic effects on sending and destination areas, the social networks that span across spaces, and migrants’ aspirations before and their behavioral patterns during and after migration. These new trends and contexts of migration will be compared to traditional patterns in order to understand if and how they offer sustainable opportunities for development within the global South.

To put these research topics into context, we choose two case studies, one in Asia and Africa each. In Vietnam we investigate the dynamics of households with migrant members in general and to Africa specifically from the perspective of the sending areas. Here, we have found that Angola is by far the most important destination country for Vietnamese migrants in Africa. Estimates put the number of Vietnamese migrants in Angola at around 50,000. In Africa we therefore focus on the group of Vietnamese immigrants in Angola to complement our findings from Vietnam by adopting the perspective of the destination country. Combining qualitative and quantitative empirical methods, we seek to complement individual experiences with overall trends and patterns in our conclusions


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AFRASO Publications

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Talks and Lectures

Gröger, André ; The Role of Transnational Broker Networks for Irregular Labor Migration: The Vietnamese bonanza in Angola ; Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gröger, André ; The Role of Transnational Broker Networks for Irregular Labor Migration: The Vietnamese bonanza in Angola ; Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gröger, André ; Explorations on Vietnamese-Chinese Business Networks in Angola ; Tuesday, March 24, 2015 ; Cape Town
Gröger, André ; Development Effects of International Migration between Africa and Asia ; Thursday, February 7, 2013 ; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

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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AFRASO Publications

Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; 2015 ; Mobilizing Transnational Gender Politics in Post-Genocide Rwanda (Gender in a Global/Local World Series) Farnham/Burlington: Ashgate. ; Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu ; Ashgate ; Farnham / Burlington

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-F: Chinese Medicine in Africa

Übersicht: 

By now there are more than 16.000 Chinese medical doctors in Mali, which are an integral part of the Malian health care system since the 1960s. In contrast to their counterparts from France and Russia the Chinese learned Bambara and were able to communicate with their Malian patients and colleagues. The research project is particularly interested in the interaction between the Chinese medical doctors and the Malian health personal (nurses, and administrative staff). Do the Doctors only rely on skills and technologies imported from their home country (both traditional Chinese and western medicine) or did they also acquire local medical knowledge? Where and when are they practicing traditional Chinese medicine and in which cases are they relying on western medicine?

In the past health care in Mali was state-owned, but since the late 1980s it is increasingly privatised. Chinese doctors and healers play a crucial part in this process. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is popularized by ambulant specialist, providing their services on the streets. This is raising questions about (who these people are,) about their professional and cultural background and of the background of the clients.

In contemporary South Africa Chinese medicine is not only practised within the Chinese community. It is also accepted as an alternative medicine among the urban middle class. In addition, Chinese medicine shows certain parallels to the praxis of African herbal doctors and “traditional” healers. But the level where medical traditions come together is completely different: Pharmaceutical companies from South Africa, the West and Asia try to systematize, analyze and capitalize the knowledge about local drugs. In this regard we are particularly interested in the cooperation of Chinese and South African companies.

Two areas will be researched with anthropological methods:

  1. Doctors, healers and patients: which specialist is consulted under which circumstances? Where are the boundaries and where are overlaps? Is there a change in the perception of Chinese (medical) influence? Which elements of Chinese medicine find their way into the traditional African medicine and how?
  2. Chinese pharmacist are actively bioprospecting in South Africa? We are interested in the different modes of cooperation between Africans and Asians and the structures used by the companies and their representatives?

We expect similarities and differences in our results from Mali and South Africa. The findings will give us insights into the patterns of Chinese engagement and the historical and cultural frame of the Asian influence in Africa.

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Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

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Talks and Lectures

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
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
Gruber, Matthias ; Mobilität als Lebensentwurf – Migration und Integration asiatischer Handler in Südafrika ; Friday, March 6, 2015 ; Goethe University, Frankfurt
Gruber, Matthias ; It’s not all about the money: Life-worlds of Chinese Traders in South Africa ; Tuesday, March 11, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur
Gruber, Matthias ; Brokerage in Johannesburg ; Sunday, December 14, 2014 ; Guangzhou
Gruber, Matthias ; Beyond business. An incomplete portrait of a Chinese businesswoman in Johannesburg. ; Friday, May 16, 2014 to Thursday, March 31, 2016 ; Frankfurt a. M.
Gruber, Matthias ; Between Africa and China: Young Chinese entrepreneurs in Johannesburg, South Africa ; Thursday, December 18, 2014 ; Peking University
Gruber, Matthias ; Being a “New Chinese” in Johannesburg ; Tuesday, March 24, 2015 ; Kapstadt
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

S3-A: Chinese Cultural Policies and Confucius Institutes in Africa

Übersicht: 


In order to clarify to what extent cultural interactions in African-Chinese relations create a “soft“ influence on new development concepts and how China presents itself by means of public diplomacy to African audiences, the project investigates Confucius Institutes in South Africa. Other than negative media reports suggest, Confucius Institutes act less political. Moreover, it seems inaccurate to describe them as an instrument of China’s policy of expansion. Confucius Institutes adapt themselves to local circumstances in Africa and communicate a rather selective picture of China which normally focuses on traditional notions of culture (calligraphy, tea ceremony) and tends to blind out current political and societal issues.

For Africans, Confucius Institutes are a major option to purify their university degrees and thereby to increase their chances on the job market. In this regard, China is a major option for students of African Confucius Institutes as a destination to study and work. Precisely this option is of interest because in China, it becomes obvious whether and how Confucius Institutes prepare their students for such a stay abroad.

 


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Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

Hartig, Falk ; 2015 ; 中国的软实力与非洲的孔子学院 (China’s Soft Power and Confucius Institutes in Africa) ; 非洲黄皮书非洲发展报告No.17(2014~2015)(Yellow Book of Africa: Annual Report on Development in Africa) ; Institute of West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences ; Social Science Academic Press ; Beijing ; 94-110
Hartig, Falk ; 2014 ; Ungeschickte Weltmacht: China möchte sein Image verbessern – und steht sich dabei selbst im Weg ; Internationale Politik ; November/Dezember 2014 ; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik ; 50-52
Hartig, Falk ; 2014 ; The Globalization of Chinese Soft Power: Confucius Institutes in South Africa ; CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: Confucius Institutes and the Globalization of China’s Soft Power ; Jian Wang ; Figueroa Press ; Los Angeles ; 47-65
Hartig, Falk ; 2013 ; Konfuzius, Schumpeter und die chinesischen Medien – wie China versucht, seine Sicht der Dinge zu verbreiten ; China in den Augen deutscher Medienbotschafter ; Oliver Radtke ; New Star Press ; Peking ; 153-177
Hartig, Falk ; 2014 ; Konfuzius sagt: Klasse statt Masse ; Kulturaustausch-Zeitschrift für internationale Perspektiven ; II/2014 ; 61
Hartig, Falk ; 2016 ; How China Understands Public Diplomacy: The Importance of National Image for National Interests ; International Studies Review ; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/isr/viw007
Hartig, Falk ; 2015 ; Die entscheidende Rolle der Außendarstellung - Chinas Gesicht in seiner Auswärtigen Kulturpolitik ; Kultur und Außenpolitik Handbuch für Wissenschaft und Praxis ; Kurt-Jürgen Maaß ; Nomos ; 389-396
Hartig, Falk ; 2014 ; Confucius Institutes as innovative tools of China’s cultural diplomacy ; Chinese Politics and International Relations: Innovation and Invention ; Nicola Horsburgh, Astrid Nordin, Shaun Breslin ; Routledge Warwick Studies in Globalisation ; New York ; 121-144
Flew, Terry & Hartig, Falk ; 2014 ; Confucius Institutes and the Network Communication Approach to Public Diplomacy ; The IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies ; Vol. 1, No.1 ; 27-44

Pages

Talks and Lectures

Hartig, Falk ; Is it the Economy, Stupid? China Daily and the Representation of China abroad ; Tuesday, September 2, 2014 to Wednesday, September 3, 2014 ; Tsinghua University Beijing
Hartig, Falk ; Cultural organizations and mutual learning: the case of Confucius Institutes ; Friday, September 20, 2013 ; Clingendael Institute Netherlands Institute for International Relations, Den Haag
Falk Hartig ; Cultural Exchange and Image Management: The Case of Confucius Institutes in Africa ; Thursday, January 14, 2016 ; University of Nottingham
Hartig, Falk ; Confucius INstitutes: The Gobalization of Chinese Public Diplomacy - The Case of Africa ; Saturday, July 12, 2014 ; University of Nottingham
Hartig, Falk ; Confucius Institutes: The Globalization of Chinese Soft Power – the Case of (South) Africa ; Friday, February 28, 2014 ; USC Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Hartig, Falk ; Confucius Institutes in Africa – A new Soft Power Instrument in the Making? ; Thursday, March 26, 2015 ; Kapstadt
Flew, Terry & Falk Hartig ; Confucius Institutes and the Network Communication Approach to Public Diplomacy ; Wednesday, July 3, 2013 to Friday, July 5, 2013 ; Perth
Hartig, Falk ; Confucius Institutes and China’s Public Diplomacy – A western Perspective ; Thursday, December 19, 2013 ; Zhou Enlai School of Government, Nankai University, Tianjin
Hartig, Falk ; Confucius Institutes and China’s International Image Management ; Sunday, September 28, 2014 ; Rhodes University, Grahamstown
Hartig, Falk ; Confucius Institutes and China’s International Communication ; Wednesday, September 10, 2014 ; China Foreign Affairs University, Peking
Hartig, Falk ; China’s Public Diplomacy: explaining China to the world through external communication and image management ; Thursday, June 26, 2014 ; Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau
Hartig, Falk ; China‘s Public Diplomacy towards Africa ; Thursday, March 19, 2015 ; School of International and Intercultural Communication, TU Dortmund
Hartig, Falk ; Chinas Geopolitik und ihre kulturelle Unterstützung ; Thursday, July 18, 2013 to Friday, July 19, 2013 ; Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

S3-B: China’s Influence on the Perception of Good Governance, Development, and International Cooperation in Africa

Übersicht: 

Against the backdrop of an ongoing debate concerning the ideological implications of a rising China, the project uses a constructivist framework to study the role of ideas in Sino-South African and Sino-Ethiopian relations. It argues that, while in many areas there indeed have been developments over the recent years which propose that individual African countries are learning from Chinese experiences, it would be misleading to conceptualize African states as passive victims of either Western or Chinese influence. Instead, the rise of China (as well as other emerging powers) has created new options for African actors, some of which regard Chinese concepts of development, governance or international cooperation as being more in line with their own perception of the challenges they and their respective countries are facing.

While China is doing its best to nurture the idea of a community of likeminded states that comes with these shared perceptions, and is very active in further developing the ideational common ground by providing training and exchange programs, so far there is little to suggest that this behavior is not primarily driven by African demands. Given the shared ideological space, which to no small degree is rooted in historical developments and narratives in which the developed world assumes the role of the Other, the relevance of seemingly outdated concepts such as South-South cooperation and Sino-African friendship needs to be reconsidered.

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Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

Lejeune, Johannes ; 2015 ; Ruling Parties as Communities of Practice and Collective Identity in China-Ethiopia Relations ; AFRASO Working Paper ; Ruppert, Uta & Frank Schulze-Engler ; No. 1
Holbig, Heike ; 2013 ; Regionen als Prozesse: Asienbezogene Area Studies an den Schnittstellen kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlicher Selbstreflexion ; https:\\www.uni-frankfurt.de/49330380/WP-7-2013_Holbig.pdf ; IZO Working Papers on East Asia ; No. 7

Talks and Lectures

Lejeune, Johannes ; That’s what friends are for: Identity in the making of China-South Africa relations ; Wednesday, March 25, 2015 ; Cape Town
Holbig, Heike ; Regionenals kulturelle Prozesse: Chinaund die "World Values Surveys" ; Sunday, October 6, 2013 ; Universität Leipzig
Holbig, Heike ; Entanglements Versus Entrenchments. Asien als Prozess ; Tuesday, June 24, 2014 ; Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität München
Lejeune, Johannes ; Collective Identity in China-Ethiopia Relations: A Community of Practice Perspective ; Wednesday, August 6, 2014 to Saturday, August 9, 2014 ; Frankfurt a. M

S3-D: Japanese Management Techniques and Firm Level Effects on Productivity: Evidence from Africa

Übersicht: 

Kaizen in Zambian Firms

The current project is an attempt to better understand new development concepts, and to analyze culture and development from an economic perspective. More specifically, the projects tries to understand the impact of Japanese corporate culture, narrowly defined as a set of management practices inspired by the Japanese school, in affecting profitability and productivity of firms in Africa. In particular, this project focuses on the Japanese Kaizen and lean management practices. This transferability of practices is being analyzed in the context of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Zambia. The sector being analyzed are micro furniture producers located in four markets in low income areas of Lusaka.

The project started with an exploratory phase, to determine the appropriate sector and scale of industries to be targeted. We decided to focus on micro producers as they are the most ubiquitous enterprise form, accounting for more than 80 percent of employment in the non-agricultural sector, and suffer from low productivity. The initial exploratory phase was followed by a listing of all furniture producers located in these markets in Lusaka. The baseline survey (“fact finding”) was carried out with 120 furniture producers in these markets in April 2015. The baseline survey was to obtain a picture regarding the key characteristics of the entrepreneurs and the businesses they own; the current levels of revenue, profit and cost; business practices being followed; and the key constraints facing the business; and the motivations and objectives of the business owners.

The analysis of the data shows that only 25 percent of the entrepreneurs have had training to become a carpenter and less than 10 percent have received any business training or maintain business records. The average stated profits of a firm are around 200 Euros per month. The survey contained 13 pages; more micro data on personal characteristics, enterprise characteristics, performance data, business practices, environment and entrepreneurial orientation are available on request (“diagnosis”).

In light of the fact finding and in consultation with Japanese management experts a training program designed on the principles of “lean management” and “Kaizen” was designed. The concrete tools were based on the “5-S” tools, one of the most widely used Japanese management techniques. The primary objective of the training program is to enable individuals to think about the production process in a structured manner to be able to identify key areas in which the costs of production can be reduced. The other important objective was to emphasize to the entrepreneurs that increasing profits was possible through not only higher sales, but through reduction of costs, an aspect under the entrepreneurs’ control, and in the process promote entrepreneurial agency and initiative.

The training involved two classroom and four onsite training sessions. One of the distinguishing features of our study, in relation to other training programs that have been implemented (refer to McKenzie et. al 2014 for an overview), is the emphasis (a) on practical onsite sessions and (b) on a low-cost approach, both motivated by the Japanese school of management.

The initial findings (based on own visits to the firms and exchange with the trainer) suggest Japanese management practices as a good match to the management of Zambian micro firms. This is an astonishing finding itself given that Kaizen and lean management have been developed for large firms in high-tech sectors, and often have been said to be strongly institutionally bounded. The results of the training show:

  • The qualitative effects of the training program were already visible – there were clear signs that the 5S in terms of organizing workshop and timber were already in place. The visual appearance of the treated group compared to the control group clearly differs.
  • Other important insights from the classrooms session regarding time management by not indulging in idle talk and starting on customer orders as soon as being received were also reported.
  • Similarly, in relation to the training objective of promoting cooperation in procurement of raw materials, one of the markets had started using blackboards to help people coordinate dates and times for purchase of raw materials.
  • Other participants reported deliberately looking out for other carpenters when at timber market for the possibility of sharing transportation costs.

As originally planned, the final evaluation survey at the end of the training program was completed in the second quarter of 2016. The results will be made public soon.

Workshop and timber organization of the treated group:

 

Workshop and timber organization of the control group:

 

Kontakt: 

Ort: 

Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

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Talks and Lectures

Ramachandran, Rajesh ; Language Policy and Human Development. The Experience of Vernacularization in Asia and Africa ; Thursday, November 13, 2014 ; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Storz, Cornelia & Steven Casper (presenter) ; Comparative entrepreneurship: Social identity and strategy formulation in entrepreneurial firms ; Saturday, August 8, 2015 ; Vancouver

S4-B: The Indian Ocean as Memory Space

Übersicht: 

The project asks how the Indian Ocean works as a space of memory in Asian and African memory cultures – especially in South Africa, East Africa, South Asia and China. Our research has so far demonstrated the limiting nature of the ‘Indian Ocean’ approach since Afrasian (Africa-Asian) interactions go beyond the littoral states of the Indian Ocean to China and beyond. This project therefore studies the cultural production of "Indian Ocean Memories” which we perceive of as „Afrasian memories“ (see Karugia 2016, in preparation). Afrasian memories are „connective memories“. They connect, reconnect and articulate transregional historical imaginaries. The ‘Afrasian Ocean’ world connects multiethnic communities. In some of these Afrasian spaces, we observe a paradigm-shift from competitive towards multidirectional memory (in the sense of M. Rothberg 2009).

The project's key question is how the long history of exchange between Africa and Asia is remembered today and which functions such memories fulfil in the light of current interactions. The project starts from the assumption that the centuries-old relations between both regions (trade, migration, slavery, indentured labour, soldiers etc.) are not simply forgotten in the face of today's Afrasian interactions (such as labour migration, tourism, transnational media cultures), but that they constitute a "space of experience" (R. Koselleck) against which the present situation is understood and expectations for the future are articulated. Museums, literature and other media, memory institutions and memory sites across the world of the „Afrasian Ocean“ address human interactions and power dynamics across time and space. We ask how Afrasian memories contribute to an understanding of present and future African-Asian interactions.

In the framework of AFRASO, the project's goals are to understand, first, the significance of historical imagination for transregional conceptions of space and, second, the importance of local memory cultures for the representation and interpretation of current African-Asian interactions. In light of the foregoing, we are analysing the production of contemporary transnational imaginaries of citizenship, the complex negotiation of transcultural identities amongst old Asian-African and new Asian diasporas, claims of long-standing transregional socio-political and cultural links, new and old memory sites built or claimed by certain Afrasian communities and Afrasian bio-politics within old and emergent Afrasian diasporas.

'Memory', in this project, describes on the one hand elements of explicit, official memory culture (e.g. the remembrance of Gandhi in South Africa); on the other hand, the project wants to reconstruct what John C. Hawley (2008, 4), drawing on James C. Scott, has called "hidden transcripts": implicit, non-official, private and subaltern forms of memory, which, however, can be articulated in literature, photography, film and other media. Such memories have especially come to the fore in interviews we conducted with various groups of people in South Africa, East Africa, China and India as well as in our recent investigation of ‘travelling afrasian objects’ and ‘multidirectional mnemoeconomics’ (see Karugia 2016, in preparation).

Kontakt: 

Ort: 

Involvierte AFRASO Mitglieder: 

AFRASO Publications

Karugia, John Njenga ; 2015 ; “Tazara Memory in Africa’s Contemporary Politics of Dignity” ; (当代非洲政治尊严中的坦赞回忆), International Aid Journal ; 5th 2015 (6th in general) [2015年第5期,总第6期] ; Beijing, 18-25
Helff, Sissy ; 2013 ; Unreliable Truths: Transcultural Homeworlds in Indian Women’s Fiction of the Diaspora. ; Helff, Sissy ; Rodopi. Pb ; Amsterdam/New York
Erll, Astrid ; 2014 ; From District Six to District 9 and Back: The Plurimedial Production of Travelling Schemata ; de Cesari, Chiara & Ann Rigney ; Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales ; de Gruyter ; Berlin/New York ; 29–5
Schulze-Engler, Frank ; 2014 ; Africa’s Asian Options: Indian Ocean Imaginaries in East African Literature ; Beyond the Line: Cultural Constructions of the Southern Oceans ; Michael Mann, Ines Phaf-Rheinberger ; Neofelis ; Berlin ; 159-179

Talks and Lectures

Helff, Sissy ; ‘Deep Memory’ in Indian Ocean Photography ; Tuesday, March 24, 2015 ; Kapstadt
Karugia, John Njenga ; Writing Back to Whom? East African Literature in a Multipolar World, WiSe 2013/14 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; Writers in African Politics, WiSe 2014/15 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; Wissensproduktion in der geteilten transregionalen Forschung ; Friday, December 4, 2015 ; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; Wissensproduktion in der geteilten transregionalen Forschung ; Friday, December 4, 2015 ; AFRASO, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; Wealth in China’s ‚Colonies‘ in East Africa ; Monday, April 14, 2014 to Friday, April 18, 2014 ; University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
Karugia, John Njenga ; Travelling Afrasian Objects ; Friday, May 6, 2016 ; University of Augsburg
Helff, Sissy ; Transregional Sightlines: Visualising Dialogues between Asia and Africa in Photography ; Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur
Helff, Sissy ; Transregional Sightlines: Images of Asia in African Photography ; Wednesday, August 7, 2013 ; St. Lucia
Karugia, John Njenga ; Transregional Research in Trans-Areas: Methodological Reflections ; Monday, December 14, 2015 ; Universität Hamburg
Karugia, John Njenga ; Towards a Braver History of the Indian Ocean ; Thursday, November 26, 2015 ; Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona
Karugia, John Njenga ; The Indian Ocean as Memory Space ; Thursday, November 12, 2015 ; Institut für Poskoloniale & Transkulturelle Studien, Universität Bremen, Bremen
Karugia, John Njenga ; Successes, Challenges and Paradoxes of China-Africa Relations ; Thursday, October 24, 2013 ; Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main
Karugia, John Njenga ; Memory, Migration and Politics in Asia-Africa Relations ; Wednesday, April 2, 2014 ; Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University Delhi, New Delhi,
South Africa and China - Politics and Perspective ; Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu & John Njenga Karugia, SoSe 2015 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; KiswaChin - Sinokiswahili in Kariakoo Chinatown ; Sunday, June 8, 2014 to Monday, June 9, 2014 ; University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
Karugia, John Njenga ; Indischer Ozean ; Thursday, December 10, 2015 ; Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin
Karugia, John Njenga ; Indian Ocean Migrations and Impacts in the 21st Century: China and India in East Africa ; Friday, April 4, 2014 ; Department of African Studies, Delhi University, New Delhi, India
Erll, Astrid ; Indian Ocean Memories, WiSe 2014/15 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Karugia, John ; In (Visible) Imperial Indian Ocean Memories ; Thursday, June 25, 2015 to Wednesday, March 30, 2016 ; University of Amsterdam
Karugia, John Njenga ; East Africa, South Africa and the Indian Ocean in a Global Context ; Saturday, June 6, 2015 ; Niederndodeleben, Germany
Karugia, John Njenga ; Discussing China in Tanzania's Parliament ; Friday, January 17, 2014 ; Konfuzius Institut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Karugia, John Njenga ; Dignity for Self and Others: Insights from Memory Studies ; Saturday, April 25, 2015 ; Prynnsberg Estate, Clocolan, South Africa
Karugia, John Njenga ; Contested Heritage Politics Across the Indian Ocean ; Thursday, January 14, 2016 ; Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Karugia, John Njenga ; Connective Indian Ocean Memories: Towards a Braver Indian Ocean History ; Friday, September 25, 2015 ; Goethe Frankfurt University
Karugia, John Njenga ; Connective Indian Ocean Memories ; Wednesday, March 25, 2015 ; Kapstadt
Karugia, John Njenga, Erll, Astrid & Sissy Helff ; Collective Amnesia, Denial or Disavowal of History? The Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius and its Colonial Past ; Tuesday, May 19, 2015 ; The Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, Goethe University Frankfurt
John Njenga Karugia ; Civilizational Dialogues Between Asia and Africa: Asia in East Africa's Parliaments ; Tuesday, March 11, 2014 ; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Karugia, John Njenga ; Chinesische Migration nach Tansania ; Wednesday, February 20, 2013 ; Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Kulturen der Welt, Köln
Karugia, John Njenga ; Baohan Street: An African Community in Guangzhou (China) ; Thursday, October 16, 2014 ; Global South Studies Center Cologne, Cultures and Societies in Transition
Karugia, John Njenga ; Asiatische Akteure in Afrika im globalen Kontext ; Saturday, November 23, 2013 to Sunday, November 24, 2013 ; Herbert-Wehner-Bildungswerk, Dresden
Karugia, John Njenga ; African Memories of Visits to China ; Thursday, January 15, 2015 ; Konfuzius Institut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Karugia, John Njenga ; Afrasian migrations across transregional spaces and places: East Africans and Chinese Migrants ; Thursday, May 15, 2014 to Saturday, May 17, 2014 ; Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies, Goethe University of Frankfurt and Centre for the Study of Contemporary Africa at the University of Naples “L´Orientale”, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Karugia, John Njenga ; Afrasian Memory Interviews: Complexities in Afrasian Spaces ; Tuesday, May 3, 2016 ; University of Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; Afrasian Literature, WiSe 2015/16 ; Goethe University Frankfurt
Karugia, John Njenga ; „China in Afrika – Chancen, Herausforderungen, Perspektiven ; Thursday, May 22, 2014 ; Leipzig, Germany