The Rise of China in Kenya’s Foreign Relations
Time & Location
About The Event
This seminar examines Kenya’s relations with China since the 1980s and reveals a tale of two ambitious emerging economies. Kenya has the largest economy within the East African Community, has been the regional economic power house since the colonial period, and its leaders are determined to ensure that it remains that way. As the world’s second largest economy after the United States, China is an important source of imported goods into Kenya and destination for exports out of the country, while its investments have led to improvements in Kenya’s infrastructure. At the same time, China’s investment pattern, which does not utilize Kenya’s well-developed industrial infrastructure to leap-frog into the wider eastern African market, is likely to constrain Kenya’s industrial production in the long run. This seminar pays special attention to economic-driven diplomatic goals, to the identities of the two countries in the face of structural changes in the international system, and to the role of agency and political leadership. Using a conceptual framework derived from Alexander George’s theory of policy legitimacy, the seminar argues that Kenya’s relations with China have had a normative base for legitimacy. However, these relations lack a cognitive legitimacy base because most Kenyan officials, including those who work on Kenyan-Chinese relations, have little or no knowledge of the Mandarin language, have very limited understanding of Chinese history, and are not familiar with China’s diplomatic practices.
ZOOM LINK: https://uwa.zoom.us/j/8957289704?pwd=VFFtb3ZNanF6RT NGV0lUZnpySWpNQT09 Password: 609093
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