Call for Chapters: Academic Diplomacy in Africa-China Relations

Phiwokuhle Mnyandu's picture
Call for Publications
February 28, 2023
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Social Sciences, Asian History / Studies

You are invited to submit an abstract for the upcoming edited collection, Academic Diplomacy in China-Africa Relations. The edited book seeks to provide analytical, in-depth, and data-driven insight into Africa-China relations through the lens of academic diplomacy (AD). Since the arrival of the first 24 African students in China in 1954, the phenomenon of African countries and political organizations ‘sending’ students for education and training, as part of bilateral initiatives or schemes, has been a significant facet of China’s attempt to foster stronger ties with African countries. This makes AD one of the earliest and enduring features of China’s statecraft with the continent. 

China has become the top-ranked destination for African students seeking higher education, with countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Cameroon, Sudan, South Africa, Kenya being among the highest-ranked. By 2017, China had surged ahead of erstwhile favorite destinations like France, the United States, and the United Kingdom to become the top destination for most African students. Whereas early iterations of Africa-China AD were attenuated by the Cold War, the Sino-Soviet split, anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles, among other things, in the contemporary period it is the ‘scramble’ for Africa, great power competition, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) initiatives, and the Belt-Road Initiative (BRI) which have become the backdrop against which China pursues AD.

We are particularly keen on chapters that explore the humanitarian aspects of Africa-China AD and their impact on fundamental aspects of African human agency and development. We welcome interdisciplinary, country-specific case studies that will attempt one of the following (or something closely related):

  • Theorize on the past, present and future of China-Africa AD
  • Theorize on emerging definitions or manifestations of AD
  • Explore implication for African developmental imperatives in current Africa-China AD trends 
  • Look at specific African countries’ experiences with China as an academic exchange partner or the Chinese space as a location for African aspiration 
  • Analyze the gendered nature of Africa-China AD 
  • Conceive of ways by which developmental outcomes of Africa-China AD may be measured 
  • Explore what the implications of Africa-China AD are for big power competition on the African continent
  • Compare ‘diplomacies’ between the history, nature, and scope of a specific (African) country’s AD with China versus another Western power like the US, UK, or France
  • Compare ‘diplomacies’ between the history, nature, and scope, of a specific (African) country’s AD with China versus another emerging power such as India.
  • Conceive of new models of Africa-China AD
  • Explore new political, and socio-cultural dimensions of China-Africa AD 

We especially welcome established and emerging scholars from all disciplines who have done fieldwork in China or on the African continent. We also welcome those who have not but can make a compelling case for inclusion based of their ability gain access to reputable data sources from which sound analysis of a country-specific case of Africa-China AD may emerge. 

Guidelines for Contributors

If you wish to submit a chapter to be included in Academic Diplomacy in China-Africa Relations, please click on the link below to submit the following items:

  • a proposed title 
  • an abstract (400-500 words)
  • a brief bio (150 words
  • a CV

At least two publishers have expressed interest keen interest in the volume for their African Studies and Development sections.

Submission link: 

Key Dates

Abstract submission: 28 February 2023
Acceptance notice: 20 March 2023
Full chapter submission (5,000-6,000 words): 13 August 2023

Contact Info: 

Phiwokuhle Mnyandu (Howard University)