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Call for Pitches – Researcher Workshop: "Writing for Impact"

October 11-12, 2019

The China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) proposes to train China-Africa scholars to improve the impact of their writing, by turning academic research into formats more commonly read by general audiences as well as policymakers. To help bridge the gap, CARI is hosting its first workshop focused on translating academic work into policy briefs, op-eds, and long-form articles. We want to help you make your scholarly research more accessible, and help you reach wider audiences in a timely fashion, including through leveraging social media to circulate your work.

This small-scale (maximum of twelve participants), two-day writing workshop will be held at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12, 2019. Researchers will exchange with editors, policymakers, and China-Africa scholars who have succeeded in disseminating their findings to the non-academic world. Participants will aim to complete a draft of a policy brief, long-form magazine article, or op-ed by the end of the workshop.

For more information on how to apply, please click here.


Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Per Arne Wilson (Creative Commons)

Photo credit: Per Arne Wilson (Creative Commons)

Working Paper 29 and Policy Brief 38 – Comparing the Determinants of Western and Chinese Commercial Ties with Africa

Many have hypothesized that Chinese firms undermine the global drive to promote good governance in developing countries, and in Africa in particular, by targeting poorly governed countries for commercial ventures. These papers by David G. Landry test that hypothesis. They are the first to explicitly compare the determinants of Chinese and Western commercial activities through quantitative modeling and find that governance quality among African countries plays a positive role in predicting their commercial activity, in terms of their foreign direct investment inflows, exports, and imports—with both Western countries and China.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Policy Brief 37 — Disasters While Digging: Rates of Violence Against Mine Workers in Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Zambia

In 2010, violence broke out at a mine in Zambia and many local workers were injured. This incident served as a jump-off point for criticism of Chinese mines in Africa and a broader discussion of the treatment of workers by Chinese managers and companies. But is there actually a higher rate of violence against workers in Chinese-owned mines? In this brief, Christian Freymeyer explores rates of violence against workers in mines in Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Zambia, and further dissects the idea of mine ownership to help answer this question.

Download Policy Brief (PDF) »


Photo credit: Will Burchell, Jaiyi Ma, Dylan Parkes, Henrique Vicente

Photo credit: Will Burchell, Jaiyi Ma, Dylan Parkes, Henrique Vicente

Photo credit: Sergio Chichava, Shubo Li, Michael G. Sambo

Photo credit: Sergio Chichava, Shubo Li, Michael G. Sambo

Call for Proposals - SAIS IDEV/CARI Student Practicum

SAIS-CARI is currently recruiting practicum clients for the 2019-2020 academic year. Clients work with a team of three or four graduate students from the SAIS International Development (IDEV) practicum over the course of one year, with a travel period in January 2020. Practicum students apply their knowledge from the IDEV curriculum as free consultants to evaluate, design, survey, or plan projects for their client. This is a excellent opportunity for any organization looking to receive outside support. The application deadline of July 26th, 2019.

To learn more or submit an idea for the practicum project, click here »

Working Paper 28 and Policy Brief 36 — The Blind Spot: International Mining in Angoche and Larde, Mozambique

Comparing Chinese and Irish companies in their respective dealings with local civil societies and communities, Chichava, Li, and Sambo probe the social impacts of heavy sand mining by international companies in Mozambique. They set to find out how international mining affects local social organization in terms of work, labor relations, and livelihoods, and how disputes are negotiated between the mining companies, municipal and provincial governments, and civil society groups representing the interests of local communities. Disagreements around compensation, resource depletion, and labor-relations are the primary source of controversy and tension generated by the mining projects.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Photo credit: Deneth17 (Wikimedia Commons)

Photo credit: Deneth17 (Wikimedia Commons)

This blog post is by CARI Director Prof. Deborah Bräutigam.

Africans have been leery about Chinese loans ever since an Indian polemicist coined the term "debt trap diplomacy" to describe the sale of 70% of the shares of Sri Lanka's Hambantota port to a Chinese company-- a highly politicized Sri Lankan investment seen by some as a white elephant, and by others as an important future commercial asset that was developed prematurely, given its original feasibility timeline.

Now The Economist has mis-characterized my analysis of Hambantota in a June 29, 2019 story, "China is Thinking Twice About Lending to Africa," by suggesting that I examined 3000 projects and found that Hambantota "was the only example of such an asset being seized to cover a debt."

This is not what I argued. I wrote in The American Interest that Hambantota is the only example "that has ever been used as evidence" for this accusation. But even this example does not support the claim.

Read the complete Blog post »


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