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Chinese Business and African Development: Exploring 'Post-Conflict' Dimensions

By Daniel Large


One aspect of the emerging economic geography of Chinese involvement in Africa has been investment in conflict-affected areas. Anchored on the case of Sudan, this short sketch seeks to open up the subject of the Chinese role in conflict-affected and particularly post-conflict contexts (used here as a label of convenience). It suggests that Chinese commercial investment in conflict-affected areas follows a familiar established pattern of involvement in the dynamics of armed conflict. However, in post-conflict settings, Chinas ingrained preference for bilateralism and commercial involvement contrasts with prevailing international reconstruction frameworks whilst complementing other business involvement and the aim of promoting development.


Bio: Daniel Large is a doctoral research student in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, having been awarded SOAS Research Student Fellowship in 2002, completing a thesis on the international politics of human rights in humanitarian action, using Sudan as the main case study. With extensive fieldwork experience in Sudan, he has undertaken consultancy work for UNDP, UNICEF, Christian Aid and the ODI. He is the coordinator of the Rift Valley Institutes Sudan Open Archive ( and Deputy Course Director for its Sudan course. Previously he taught at Lishui Teachers College, Zhejiang (1994-1995) and studied mandarin at Qingdao Ocean University (1998-1999) with the help of a GB-China Centre Language Award. From 2004, he has conducted research on Chinas involvement in Sudan and Africa with a particular interest in the politics of development.

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