AbstractsPolitical Science


China s engagement in Africa is increasing, and an important part of their engagement consists of development assistance. This has raised lively debate across the world, as critics claim that the Chinese engagement is not beneficial to Africa. My thesis thus seeks to identify what characterizes Chinese development policy in Africa and how this compares to that of the West. It is operationalized as an exploratory case study of the development policies of China and the UK in Zambia, in which the UK serves as an indicator of the West. The theoretical framework of the thesis is the development discourse that has taken place since the 1950s and up until today. The thesis builds on the assumption that development theory has implications for development policy, and thus seeks to identify which theories are most strongly reflected in the policies of the two donors. The empirical findings of the thesis suggest that China is standing in a modernization theory tradition, whereas the British policy strongly reflects the theory of good governance. Moreover, the thesis suggests that two political cleavages are manifested in the differences between the two donors policies, namely growth versus protection and state versus market. Although the current development policies of China and the UK in Zambia are clearly different, the mentioning of certain softer concerns in Chinese policy may be interpreted as indications that China may be moving along the same path that the West has taken, only thirty to forty years behind.