Gift or Grift? An Analysis of Perceptions of China among Africans
Robert Nyenhuis gave our June 11th lunchtime seminar on "Gift or Grift? An Analysis of Perceptions of China among Africans." The academic and public discussions surrounding China’s increased economic and political influence in Africa seem to fall into one of two opposing camps: (1) China is exploiting the continent or (2) China presents an alternative economic development trajectory to African states. Most academic studies have examined the effects of growing Chinese influence in the continent on geopolitics, the quality of democracy in Africa, and the consequences for Africa’s role in the global economy. This study asks to what extent do African citizens differ in their perceptions of Chinese influence and why? Results of a multi-level statistical analysis show that African perceptions of Chinese influence are strongly conditioned by economic vulnerability and views on home country government performance.