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  • Author: Gordon Mathews
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article begins by asking how African traders learn to adjust to the foreign world of Guangzhou, China, and suggests that African logistics agents and middlemen serve as cultural brokers for these traders. After defining “cultural broker” and discussing why these brokers are not usually Chinese, it explores this role as played by ten logistics agents/middlemen from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As logistics agents, these people help their customers in practically adjusting to Chinese life, and as middlemen they serve to grease the wheels of commerce be- tween African customers and Chinese suppliers. This is despite their own ambivalent views of China as a place to live. They play an essen- tial role in enabling harmonious relations between Africans and Chi- nese in Guangzhou, even though they see themselves not as cultural brokers but simply as businessmen.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Culture, Business , Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Nele Noesselt
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses changes in China's relations with socialist countries. It uses Chinese academic publications to add an insideâ?out perspective to the interpretation of Chinese foreign policy and outlines key socioâ?cognitive determinants of China's foreign behaviour. The paper starts with an overview of role theory, integrating Chinese scholars' writings on images of ego and alter to identify the main patterns and frames of China's selfproclaimed national role(s). It argues that China's actor identity comprises various, partly contradictory role conceptions. National roles derived from China's internal structures and its historical past lead to continuity in Chinese foreign policy, while the 'new' roles resultant from China's rise to global powerhood require it to adapt its foreign policy principles. The paper then examines four bilateral relationships – between China and Cuba, North Korea, the Soviet Union/Russia, and Vietnam – and discusses their development over time in light of China's reformulation of its 'socialist' role conception.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Socialism/Marxism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Melanie Hanif
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Due to its geo-strategic location between the Central Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern security complexes, Afghanistan is often defined as an insulator state, and sometimes also as a connector. This in-between position has led to constant instability: ever since the creation of the Durrani Empire, the country has suffered from internal power struggles as well as outside interference. External attempts to control Afghanistan have nonetheless proven extremely difficult. This also holds true for the current conflict management efforts of the US-led coalition. But what could the alternatives be? This paper seeks to explore the prospect of regional security cooperation as a path towards stability for Afghanistan. Although the academic debate has thus far not considered Afghanistan as a primarily South Asian country, I will focus on the South Asian subsystem for three reasons: Firstly, current security matters in Afghanistan are highly connected to the situation in Pakistan. Secondly, with its accession to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Afghanistan has shown an interest in establishing stronger ties with South Asia. Thirdly, India as a rising regional power is the only country in the region that might possess the capabilities, the willingness, and the legitimacy for a long-term engagement in Afghan security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Flemes
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: How can weaker states influence stronger ones? This article offers a case study of one recent exercise in coalition building among Southern middle powers, the 'India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum'. The analysis outlines five major points: first, it argues that the three emerging players can be defined as middle powers in order to frame their foreign policy behavior and options at the global level. Second, soft balancing is a suitable concept to explain IBSA's strategy in global institutions. Third, institutional foreign policy instruments are of pivotal significance in IBSA's soft balancing strategy. Fourth, the potential gains of IBSA's sector cooperation, particularly in trade, are limited due to a lack of complementarity of the three economies. And fifth, IBSA's perspectives and impact on the international system will depend on four variables: IBSA's ability to focus on distinct areas of cooperation, the consolidation of its common strategy of soft balancing, the institutionalization of IBSA, and its enlargement in order to obtain more weight in global bargains.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Günter Schucher
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: On 1 May 2004, the world witnessed the largest expansion in the history of the European Union (EU). This process has lent new weight to the idea of an expanded EU involvement in East Asia. This paper will examine the question of whether there has been a change in the EU's foreign policy with respect to its Taiwan policy after the fifth enlargement. It analyses the EU's policy statements on Asia and China to find evidence. The political behaviour of the EU has not changed, although there has been a slight modification in rhetoric. The EU – notwithstanding its claim to be a global actor – currently continues to keep itself out of one of the biggest conflicts in East Asia. The new members' interests in the East Asia region are too weak to alter the EU's agenda, and their economic priorities are rather linked to the programmes of the EU than vice versa.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia