There is a fascination with the increasing economic and political importance of China in the global economy, in international politics, and in African affairs. China’s rapid economic expansion in Africa, together with economic growth on the continent, has led to a new dynamism in Africa’s relations with the outside world. This emergence is most clearly evident in the struggle for access to Africa’s oil and other raw materials, but also in the strengthened political position and bargaining power of many African governments (and in the reduced influence of the West).
Most of the focus on China and Africa has considered the economic aspects of the relationship and its implications for development in Africa. Less has been written on the political, cultural, ideological, and media aspects of this cooperation.
This issue of the Chinese Journal of Communication (CJC) is part of an attempt to provide preliminary answers to the many questions regarding China’s “public diplomacy” or “soft power” initiatives. The answers are partly an outcome of the research project entitled, “The Voice of China in Africa”, which is based here at CMI.
Through research articles and commentary in this special issue, we seek to provide answers to the following questions: What impact does Chinese media expansion have on Africa? How is China perceived in African media? How are African issues reported in Chinese media? What role does CCTV play?
The analyses in the articles of this special issue question whether Chinese media initiatives in Africa contribute to China’s soft power. This question is particularly important, as the concept of soft power increasingly has come under criticism for being too facile a way of characterizing the many facets of China’s media, communication, and investment in Africa. Rather than positing China’s attempts at building its public image in Africa as an
attempt to advance its “soft” instead of “hard” power, it might be useful to look at the many Chinese media and communication advances as part of a gamut of power strategies through which China is trying to match its economic strength with its potential cultural capital.
Literature Review: Democracy and Human Rights in contemporary Latin America (2015-2020) Trends, challenges, and prospects
Vegard Bye, Dr.philos, CMI Affiliated Researcher, Senior Partner Scanteam Peder Østebø, M.A., Graduate Research Fellow, NUPI
Blind Sides and Soft Spots – An Evaluation of Norway's Aid Engagement in South Sudan
Erik Bryld, Mareike Schomerus, Elling Tjønneland, Erik Toft, Brian C. D'Silva, Charlotte Bonnet, Animu Athiei
Candidate selection and informal soft quotas for women: Insights from Zambia
Vibeke Wang, Ragnhild L. Muriaas
Congenitally Conjoined and Inseparable: Politics and Corruption in Nigeria
Emmanuel Oladipo Ojo, Vaclav Prusa, Inge Amundsen
Political Corruption in Africa. Extraction and Power Preservation
Gender, regulation, and corporate social responsibility in the extractive sector: The case of Equinor’s social investments in Tanzania
Siri Lange,Victoria Wyndham
Women's Studies: International Forum
Doing global investments the Nordic way. The 'business case' for Equinor’s support to union work among its employees in Tanzania
Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology
Household Bargaining and Spending on Children: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania
Charlotte Ringdal and Ingrid Hoem Sjursen