in place its quantitative easing policy Fiano 2015 Tan 2015 Africa is seen as a

In place its quantitative easing policy fiano 2015

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in place its quantitative easing policy (Fiano 2015; Tan 2015); Africa is seen as a new frontier market (Moghalu 2010; Napier 2010) and was recipient of International Journal of Canadian Studies Revue internationale d’e ´tudes canadiennes - Elizabeth Cobbett <[email protected]> - Friday, April 20, 2018 1:38:05 PM - IP Address:82.132.218.43
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35 global flows searching higher returns on investment; and emerging economies, particularly Asian countries, are trading and investing more heavily in Africa (Nowak 2016; Taylor 2012). All of these factors, along with the continent’s average growth of 4.5 percent over the past two decades (World Bank 2015), supports the observation that African economies are in fact (still) rising. In Adam Smith in Beijing , Arrighi (2007) revisits the rise of the West, its eclipse of China in the nineteenth century, the rise of US hegemony, and China’s recent rise to greater centrality in the world economy. Working with data from 700 locations around the world, Quah (2011) projects that the economic centre of gravity, the global ‘‘core,’’ will be located between India and China by 2050. In 1980, the centre of gravity was the mid-Atlantic. This position shored up what was to be an ‘‘end of history’’ moment of triumphant liberalism; however, the global economic passed over the West, reaching Bucharest by 2008. China, as the Financial Times ’s chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman (2017) wrote in the wake of the nineteenth Communist Party Congress in Beijing, is challenging the West on three fronts: ideological, economic, and geopolitical. These three fronts are clear in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is a geopolitical plan, as well as an economic one, and it is, I argue, a large technical system (LTS). The importance of LTSs within global politics is apparent through intersectionality with political authority, power, geo- politics, infrastructure, trade routes, military power, and territory. The BRI will incorporate a variety of subsystems along its routes as it links Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. Notable is the inclusion of East Africa as a strategic region for China’s new global trade and investment network. East African countries will act as gateways feeding into this LTS. What is the extent of competition, divergence, or convergence being generated through China’s initiative? In other words, countries deepening their integration into the global economy, as is the case of African states, need to manage com- petition in the broader global context of geopolitical fragmentation brought on by new global powers. The twentieth century was marked, as noted by Freeland (2017) in her speech, by the growth of liberal institutionalism. This places emphasis on the role of common goals in governance and the ability of international organizations to foster co-operation between states. If we turn to consider materialism in global governance, as Mayer and Acuto (2015) suggest we need to do, by moving LTSs to the centre stage of analysis, I contend that we need to consider China’s BRI as an emerging global system of political economic power that will operate alongside Western-led liberal regimes.
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