China-Africa Lecture Series

Author: Liu Institute


Four experts with differing research interests, experiences, and approaches shared their perspectives about the complex relationship between China and Africa in a yearlong lecture series. 

Sponsored by the Liu Institute and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the series examined the roles of China and Africa in the world, combined and separate; the effects of China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative; and how this intercontinental relationship influences the world.



The series launched with a lecture by Joshua Eisenman, an associate professor of global affairs at Notre Dame. “We are in a transitory moment in the study of China-Africa relations, where for a decade or more, people tended to look primarily at the economic side of the relationship,” he said. “But now we see a rapid expansion of political and military linkages—an evolution in the relationship from almost entirely economics-focused to more balanced across politics, economics and military. And that means that we now need to do a reassessment.”


Overall, the series attracted a large and diverse audience of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, faculty of multiple disciplines, and community members.


Joshua Eisenman, Associate Professor of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame and Faculty Fellow for the Kellogg and Liu Institutes
“Insurmountable Asymmetry? Influence and Agency in China-Africa Relations” 
September 17, 2019

Landry Signé, Brookings Institution
“Capturing Africa's Potential? China’s Evolving Role and Competition with Global Powers in Africa”
November 19, 2019 

Howard French, Professor of Journalism, Columbia University 
“Understanding China's Engagement with Africa in a Historical Perspective”
January 23, 2020 

Lina Benabdallah, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Studies, Wake Forest University 
“Shaping the Future of Power: Knowledge Production and Network-Building in China-Africa Relations”
March 5, 2020