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11. June 2015

4 p.m. - 6 p.m.

HZ 3, Campus Westend

Security has evolved from the margins to a much more prominent part of China’s engagement with Africa. The military aspects of China’s engagement, inseparable as these are from geopolitical concerns, remain salient. This talk, however, will explore a set of related dynamics and questions that go beyond this by examining the changing relationship between security and development in China’s relations with Africa. - See more at:


Security has evolved from the margins to a much more prominent part of China’s engagement with Africa. The military aspects of China’s engagement, inseparable as these are from geopolitical concerns, remain salient. This talk, however, will explore a set of related dynamics and questions that go beyond this by examining the changing relationship between security and development in China’s relations with Africa. In the context of a more multifaceted, embedded and consequential Chinese role, China’s role in African peace and security has been evolving. Recognizing that conflict and state fragility pose a unique set of challenges to its growing economic interests on the continent, the Chinese government has sought to respond through a process of adaptation and policy engagement. One aspect of these attempted responses is an identifiable aspiration to develop norms concerning peace and security, but the actual nature and efficacy of such efforts in practice is much harder to discern, especially when situated in the actual political economy of conflict in countries such as Sudan and South Sudan.

Daniel Large is Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy, Central European University. Prior to joining CEU, he was Research Director of the Africa-Asia Centre, Royal African Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies. A fellow of the Rift Valley Institute, he is also director of the digital Sudan Open Archive ( and a research associate of the South African Institute of International Affairs. His publications include the co-edited volumes China Returns to Africa: A Rising Power and a Continent Embrace (London Hurst 2008) and Sudan Looks East: China, India and the Politics of Asian Alternatives (Oxford: James Currey, 2011).

11. June 2015

Campus Westend Hz 3

30. April 2015

Campus Westend, Cas. 1.801

27. April 2015

We are happy to announce that Georg Schmidt (Auswärtiges Amt) will give a lecture at Goethe University.

24. March 2015
African-Asian Encounters (II): Re-Thinking African-Asian Relationships: Changing Realities – New Concepts
Please visit our conference website.

AFRASO – Goethe University, Frankfurt/Germany &  Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch/South Africa present:

African-Asian Encounters (II): Re-Thinking African-Asian Relationships: Changing Realities - New Concepts

Conference Venue: Cape Town, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

New registration deadline for presenters: 15 February 2015

Over the last 15 years, relations between Africans and Asians have multiplied, beginning with booming trade and increasing investments in Africa from Asia, that have been supplemented by a broad range of recently emerging social, political and cultural interactions. Globalization not only entails the rise of large-scale economic and political communities but also an historic increase in identities born of human travel and the concepts and ideas stemming from it. An intensification in market-orientated economic interests between Asia and Africa has simultaneously given birth to significant inter-regional migrations including African traders in Guangzhou and Yiwu in China, African students in Kuala Lumpur, Chinese investors across Africa, and Vietnamese contract workers in Angola. We can see the use of Chinese traditional medicine in African urban settings and can ask about implications of Chinese goods being traded. What are effects on consumption patterns in rural contexts? In some instances, regional dynamics also spill-over into transregional relations. Relations between states are re-negotiated on all political levels and in all policy fields, accompanied and simultaneously challenged by new forms of collaboration of transnational civil society networks, including in matters such as environmental protection. Additionally, alternative geographic imaginaries of community are re-activated, not least of all the Indian Ocean and the various Africa-Asia linkages it has produced. Such relationships also overlap with earlier historical patterns of Africa-Asia interaction – both real and imagined – including transmigrations such as Arabic maritime conduits and the role of colonial powers in bringing Asian labour to Africa.

While empirical systematization of these phenomena has considerably progressed over the last few years, their impact on ideas, concepts and imaginations of politics, economics and cultural developments has barely been discussed. This conference aims to identify and explore the multiplicity of ideas about societal development to which these processes have given rise. Which new ways of imagining society and societal relations have emerged? How do recent African-Asian interactions inform concepts and ideas of “community”, “development”, “diplomacy” or “sustainability” and the like? How do interactions “on the ground” inform these larger understandings and in which ways might such interactions differ from official discourses? The latter is an important question, firstly, for the sake of filling a gap in our understanding of how experiences with respective “others” have altered worldviews (both abroad and back in domestic settings). Secondly, localized cross-cultural currents can have direct effects on other aspects of societal relations such as business, governments and regional bodies: how much power are these latter bodies able to exert in defining and determining the way of thinking about inter-actions? Overall, the conference will be interested in how complex, contested historical processes inform such relationships and how history – both in its empirical dimensions as well as imaginaries of the past – is pressed into the service of the present to blend with new representations of African-Asian interactions.

The international conference will be organized jointly by the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) at Stellenbosch (South Africa) and the collaborative research programme “Africa’s Asian Options” (AFRASO) based at Goethe University, Frankfurt (Germany). It is part of a series of international conferences on African-Asian Encounters that started with the conference “New Cooperations – New Dependencies?” which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March 2014.

Keynote speakers: Meg Samuelson, Seifudein Adem and Achille Mbembe


1. Localized African-Asian Communities

Small business, petty traders, migrant communities, long-term migrant communities; the role of cyberspace in the production of community; tensions with alternative discourses of community; ethnographic accounts of localized interactions.

2. Conceptions of the Other

Traditional and contemporary concepts of Africans and Asians towards each other; attitudes towards philanthropy and giving; intersections of race and gender; perceptions of the African/Asian “other” in the context of global mediascapes.

3. Re-thinking Development

Changing concepts and norms: theoretical and methodological approaches, governance and diplomacy, sustainability. The role of actors and institutions: nation-states, multi-national companies, state-owned enterprises and civil society networks.

4. Trans-Regional Imaginaries

Intersections between historical and contemporary concepts as well as cultural and political imaginaries of “Afrasia” as a transregional space; the role of literature, film, and other (electronic) media in the (re)shaping of Indian Ocean and/or “Afrasian” imaginaries.

Unfortunately, there will be no funds available for travel and accommodation expenses.

Important Dates

  • 4 July 2014: Call for Papers
  • 15 October 2014: Deadline for Abstracts
  • 1 December 2014: Notification of Acceptance
  • 15 February 2015: Deadline for Presenter Registration
  • 01 March 2015: Deadline for Participant Registration
  • Conference: 24 – 26 March 2015

Registration fees will be 120 Euro (without Dinner) or 150 (with dinner) / 2250.00 Rand  (with dinner) or 1800.00 Rand (without dinner) (by bank transfer to Frankfurt University). Local students and postdocs may attend sessions for free, space permitting; registration will be needed if meals are required.

For all general inquiries please write to: or

You will find more information on the conference website:

Please download the Call for Papers here.


AFRASO – Goethe University, Frankfurt/Germany &  Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch/South Africa



Conference Announcement – Call for Papers

Due to accommodation constraints in Stellenbosch the venue had to be shifted to Cape Town, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel!

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Meg Samuelson, Seifudein Adem and Achille Mbembe

- See more at:

16. March 2015

The AFRASO YouTube channel is now online under ! Take a look at our first documentary "Just Another Chinese Guy" by Melanie Gaertner.

06. March 2015


„Afrika, Asien und wir? AFRASO macht Schule!“

Entwicklungs- und Globalisierungsprozesse aus
unterschiedlichen Perspektiven

Freitag, 06.03.2015, 9-17h

Das Projekt AFRASO (Africa's Asian Options) untersucht seit Anfang 2013 die neuen Beziehungen zwischen den beiden Kontinenten Afrika und Asien in vergleichender und transregionaler Perspektive. Das vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung finanzierte Vorhaben an dem rund 40 Wissenschaftler und Wissenschaftlerinnen aus sechs Fachbereichen der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt teilnehmen, bildet einen national wie international herausragenden Forschungsschwerpunkt zu afrikanisch-asiatischen Interaktionen. Ziel ist es, neue Erkenntnisse über Inhalte, Formen und Bedeutungen von Interaktionen afrikanischer und asiatischer Akteure auf beiden Kontinenten zu erarbeiten. Die Fortbildung „AFRASO macht Schule“ bietet einen Einblick in neuere Forschungsergebnisse, zu Themen, die zurzeit kontrovers und intensiv in Medien und Öffentlichkeit diskutiert werden. Die Wissenschaftler und Wissenschaftlerinnen beschäftigen sich mit Fragen aus den Bereichen Entwicklung, Globalisierung, Nachhaltigkeit, Geopolitik, Umwelt und Migration. Zahlreiche Anknüpfungspunkte bestehen zu den Fächern Erdkunde, Geschichte, Politik und Wirtschaft.


13. February 2015

"Nach jahrzehntelanger Vernachlässigung gehören ländliche Regionen als Schlüsselräume für Entwicklung wieder auf die politische Tagesordnung." Dieses Zitat des ehemaligen Entwicklungsministers Dirk Niebel aus dem Jahr 2010 lässt keine Zweifel: Landwirtschaft ist wieder "in". Doch woher kommt dieses plötzliche Interesse für die ländlichen Räume des Globalen Südens?

Antworten finden sich in einem Dokument des Bundesministers für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit: "Ländliche Räume haben viele Funktionen. Sie sind Produktionsstandort für Nahrungs- und Futtermittel, aber auch für Agrarrohstoffe wie Baumwolle, Öl- oder Energiepflanzen. Sie tragen entscheidend zur Reinhaltung von Luft und Wasser sowie zum Erhalt der Biodiversität bei." Bei der Entwicklung der ländlichen Räume des Globalen Südens geht es also nicht nur um die Entwicklung des Globalen Südens, sondern auch um die Entwicklung des Globalen Nordens und die Lösung globaler Probleme. Die Äcker des Südens bekommen eine zentrale Bedeutung im Kampf gegen die sich zuspitzenden Energie-, Biodiversitäts-, Klima-, Nahrungsmittel-, Armuts-, Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrisen. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser jungen und völlig neuen Entwicklung hinterfragt das Seminar die Konzepte "Landwirtschaft" und "Entwicklung" und analysiert mögliche Zielkonflikte auf Grundlage des Ansatzes der Politischen Ökologie.

Dieses Seminar ist im Gesamtangebot des Pädagogischen Landesinstituts Rheinland-Pfalz enthalten und als Maßnahme der Lehrerfortbildung beim Amt für Lehrerbildung (AfL) Hessen akkreditiert. Programmänderungen sind vorbehalten.

Friedtjof-Nansen-Akademie für politische Bildung im WBZ Ingelheim
Wilhelm-Leuschner-Straße 61
55218 Ingelheim am Rhein