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China's Rise in the Global South
The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing's Alternative World Order
Dawn C. Murphy


January 2022
408 pages.
from $35.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503630093
Paperback ISBN: 9781503638150
Ebook ISBN: 9781503630604

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Excerpts and More

As China and the U.S. increasingly compete for power in key areas of U.S. influence, great power conflict looms. Yet few studies have looked to the Middle East and Africa, regions of major political, economic, and military importance for both China and the U.S., to theorize how China competes in a changing world system.

China's Rise in the Global South examines China's behavior as a rising power in two key Global South regions, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Dawn C. Murphy, drawing on extensive fieldwork and hundreds of interviews, compares and analyzes thirty years of China's interactions with these regions across a range of functional areas: political, economic, foreign aid, and military. From the Belt and Road initiative to the founding of new cooperation forums and special envoys, China's Rise in the Global South offers an in-depth look at China's foreign policy approach to the countries it considers its partners in South-South cooperation.

Intervening in the emerging debate between liberals and realists about China's future as a great power, Murphy contends that China is constructing an alternate international order to interact with these regions, and this book provides policymakers and scholars of international relations with the tools to analyze it.

About the author

Dawn C. Murphy is Associate Professor of National Security Strategy at the U.S. National War College.

"China's Rise in the Global South is a must read for anyone interested in truths and myths about China's growing global influence and U.S.–China strategic competition. Judicious and deeply researched, this book is an invaluable resource."

—Thomas J. Christensen, Columbia University

"Dawn C. Murphy offers a rich, nuanced empirical treatment of China's relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. China's Rise in the Global South is especially valuable for those interested in China's Middle Eastern policy since it fills a major gap in the scholarly literature on China's regional relations."

—Rosemary Foot, Oxford University

"China's Rise in the Global South is a very welcome addition to the literature on China's rise in the developing world. Dawn C. Murphy offers a clear and astute assessment of China's Middle East strategy."

—Jon B. Alterman, Center for Strategic and International Studies

"China's Rise in the Global South will be welcomed by scholars and students alike for its timely insights and empirical content. Dawn C. Murphy contributes to understanding China's role in Africa and the Middle East, from economic operations to military growth and beyond."

—Chris Alden, London School of Economics

"There has been a significant gap in the studies of China's foreign policy beyond the Asia Pacific region. Murphy's excellent book fills this intellectual gap by focusing on China's rise in the Global South... More in-depth investigations and research will be encouraged by Murphy's book, which is a valuable addition to the scholarly literature and policy analysis on China's rise in the developing world." –Kai He, The Developing Economies

"China's Rise in the Global South provides an amazingly granular description of China's presence in and relations with Africa and the Middle East. All the readers, from the novice to the veteran China-and-Africa/Middle East watcher, will enjoy the comprehensiveness of Murphy's work, which is solidly grounded in the analysis of written sources in various languages as well as numerous interviews conducted in China and several countries in Africa and the Middle East."

—Andrea Ghiselli, Journal of Chinese Political Science

"The text [of China's Rise in the Global South] is richly and densely comparative in studying China's behaviour in the two regions it relies upon most for its external energy and key minerals, and contains many useful facts and much elucidating analysis."

—Lauren A. Johnston, The China Quarterly

"Dawn Murphy... recently published a fascinating book which offers alternative readings of China's strategy in the Global South which helps to bridge many of these debates and make sense of what is—and isn't—going on. She suggests that China is indeed promoting an alternative international order—but that this promotion looks very different across different parts of the world, and only challenges the existing American-led order in certain areas, in certain ways."

—Marc Lynch, Abu Aardvark's MENA Academy

"Murphy's discussion of how China uses the regular regional forums it organizes is excellent, as is her analysis of the relationships China has forged in military cooperation, foreign aid, and trade."

—Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs

"Professor Murphy has significantly advanced scholarship on post-Cold War Chinese foreign relations with this well-conceived and well-executed assessment of Chinese foreign relations with the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa."

—Robert Sutter, Political Science Quarterly

"China's Rise in the Global South is a solid contribution to the academic literature on China's engagement with Africa and the Middle East.... [T]he breadth of Murphy's work and its attention to politics and security offered this reader much welcome respite from the never-ending flow of ever-narrower (and duller) studies on economic topics in Sino-African relations."

—Joshua Eisenman, Pacific Affairs

"Murphy's book is a great introduction to understand China's broad political, economic, and military efforts in two regions of interest [the Middle East and Africa]. Each topic could be a book unto itself, but the numerous, yet substantive research questions Murphy explores give an appreciation of the complex topics in a simple, but informative, style for the reader."

—Matt Kuhlman, E-International Relations