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Coevolutionary Pragmatism
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Book description

China-Africa economic tie has experienced lasting rapid growth since the 2000s, attracting lots of discussion on its nature and effects. A key question is whether Chinese engagements provide an alternative paradigm to existing mainstream models, like Washington Consensus, for developing countries. However, theories on state-market dichotomy can hardly explain the strong momentum of bilateral cooperation. By examining a broad range of practices with solid field research, including trade, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, industrial zones, labor and socio-environmental preservation, this book proposes a new angle of non-linear circular causality to understand Chinese approaches to work with Africa. Guided by the pursuit for sustainable growth rather than by specific models, Chinese actors are able to experiment diverse methods to foster structural transformation in Africa. In particular, the author carefully records mutual influences between Chinese and African stakeholders at all levels, from grassroots to policy making, to illustrate the effects of coevolving industrialization.


‘As Sino-African relations deepen and mature, the debate about how this may affect the continent's development trajectory is diverse and at times contradictory. Tang Xiaoyang's analysis provides an interesting perspective, arguing that Beijing's pragmatic approach to economic dealings offers up to Africa a new set of opportunities, hitherto largely overlooked.'

Ian Taylor - Professor, University of St Andrews

‘Tang Xiaoyang's book is a thoughtful, and at time robustly argued, assessment of China's role in African development. Based on a close reading of the literature and substantive field work, Prof Tang focuses on the pragmatic approach guiding Chinese engagement with development questions in Africa and how this has shaped practical outcomes. Coevolutionary Pragmatism makes a timely and welcome contribution to our understanding of an important relationship too often obscured by sensationalism.'

Chris Alden - Professor of International Relations, The London School of Economics and Political Science

‘Coevolutionary Pragmatism is a landmark study that is already part of the canon of global China studies. Provocative yet balanced, thorough in analysis yet lucid in writing, the book is a powerful contribution to the current debate on China’s involvement in the Global South and beyond.’

Miriam Driessen Source: The China Quarterly

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