Money, markets and hydropower: Chinese dam construction in Africa
AffiliationSchool of Geography
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2017 Dr Xiao Han
This thesis aims to clarify the formation of goals, practices and consequences of Chinese outward investment, through the lens of the Chinese government’s and corporations’ engagement in African dam construction. To achieve this aim, three research questions are addressed: 1 how do Chinese actors form their goals in investing in African dam construction? 2 how are the Chinese practices in Africa related to these goals? and 3 what are the consequences of the Chinese practices? Considering China’s (re-)emergence in the neoliberal world, this thesis probes Chinese overseas investment with an eye to their spending of money, energy and time; and posits the Chinese government and corporations as both central to address the research aim. Starting from a genealogy of the shaping of the Chinese dam construction industry, this thesis applies a technopolitical approach to disentangling the historical, technical, political, social and environmental complexity associated with dams and proceeds with a life cycle analysis of a specific project in Africa, which is financed and built by Chinese actors – the Bui dam construction in Ghana. Informed by qualitative data collected from open sources and fieldwork mainly in Beijing, Accra and Bui, the thesis finds that investing in African dam construction, the Chinese government and corporations have divergent priorities but interlocking goals, but the formations of the goals of Chinese actors affect each other; and that although their practices are mainly informed by their goals, the Chinese activities overseas are affected and challenged by the interplay with external technocratic and political influences which sometimes lead to uncertain consequences. Therefore, the Chinese overseas investment is an artefact of the world’s geographically uneven process of neoliberalization, which at the project level reflects not merely a matter of “China” or the “Chinese”, but of the sophisticated interweaving of relations and interactions between the Chinese, international and the recipient country actors, evolving in a path-dependent way.
KeywordsChina; neoliberalization; dam construction; technopolitics; Africa
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References