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Palgrave Macmillan

The EU and China in African Authoritarian Regimes

Domestic Politics and Governance Reforms

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2018

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  • Provides a theoretically guided in-depth country case analysis of the EU and China's interaction with three African Authoritarian regimes
  • Draws on more than 200 interviews conducted with government officials, business representatives, civil society actors and researchers in three African countries and China as well as with policy-makers in Brussels and selected EU member states
  • Provides the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the EU and China's engagement with three African countries during the past decade

Part of the book series: Governance and Limited Statehood (GLS)

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Table of contents (6 chapters)


About this book

This open access book analyses the domestic politics of African dominant party regimes, most notably African governments’ survival strategies, to explain their variance of opinions and responses towards the reforming policies of the EU. The author discredits the widespread assumption that the growing presence of China in Africa has made the EU’s task of supporting governance reforms difficult, positing that the EU’s good governance strategies resonate better with the survival strategies of governments in some dominant party regimes more so than others, regardless of Chinese involvement. Hackenesch studies three African nations – Angola, Ethiopia and Rwanda – which all began engaging with the EU on governance reforms in the early 2000s. She argues that other factors generally identified in the literature, such as the EU good governance strategies or economic dependence of the target country on the EU, have set additional incentives for African governments to not engage on governance reforms. 


“This book makes a key and original contribution towards a growing strand of research moving beyond a eurocentric approach to studying EU external relations.” (Jan Orbie, Ghent University, Belgium)

Authors and Affiliations

  • German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn, Germany

    Christine Hackenesch

About the author

Christine Hackenesch is Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE). Her research focuses on EU external relations, Sino–African relations and the domestic politics of African authoritarian regimes. 

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