Please follow the paper proposal below. Feel free to rearrange sessions as the paper proceeds. Pick only one proposed conclusion to expand into based on research. Thank you for your time!
African leaders govern African states with a common practice: Neopatrimonialisma political system which represents patronage, personal rule, institutional weakness, fuzzy line between public and private etc. A major feature of neopatrimonialism is clientelism. Neopatrimonialism functions as a complex web of patron-client relations parasitically anchored on state offices and resources (Englebert & Dunn, 2013). While the wealth and power are circulated in elite pyramids in Africa, China entered the continent to trade. In just a little over a decade period, Chinas investment in Africa has grown to $2.9b from $75m, and Chinas influence can be seen everywhere (China Daily, 2013). In this paper, the research questions are designed to answer the question: Does Chinas involvement in Africa prop up neopatrimonial regime?
To answer the research question above, the paper will start with an introduction/literature review on neopatrimonialismits features, how its practiced, its impact etc. A more in-depth literature review on corruption, resource distribution, and clientelism in neopatrimonial systems will follow to further examine the role of the regime in African governance. From here, the paper will introduce Chinas involvement in the continent.
This section will start with introducing President Jiang Zemins policy change to Africa in 1996, followed by a brief history review of how China trade with Africa. The paper will specifically focus on reviewing Chinas role as a primary infrastructure financier in Africa, and why the focus is on infrastructure. The question to ask here is: Is it purely economical or political? At this point, some data and/or graphs (GDP, percentage of GDP growth etc.) will be presented to showcase and compare changes in African countries since Chinas involvement.
Based on the data and the literature review on how China trade with Africa, this section will start arguing if Chinas involvement in Africa feeding more into neopatrimonial regime. A section of critics of neopatrimonialism will be intertwined in the analysis to support the argument.
The conclusion is yet to be drawn for this paper. There are two potential conclusions based on the preliminary research: 1. If China is indeed feeding into neopatrimonialism in Africa, should China vacate? If so, what does it indicate for both China and Africas future? 2. If China has only minimum role in propping up neopatrimonialism and were to stay, what should African leaders do to make the trade a fair game instead of another imperial expansion?