New article by Joerg Friedrichs seeks to explain China's popularity in Middle East and Africa

A new article by Associate Professor Joerg Friedrichs examines a range of international relations theories to discover which can help explain the popularity of China in the Middle East and Africa.

China enjoys considerable popularity in the regions, not only among elites but also at street level; all Middle Eastern and African regimes are on friendly terms with Beijing and every year, opinion polls confirm China’s popularity among ordinary people

This article draws on three broad international relations theories – realism, international political economy (IPE) and constructivism – to explain this general pattern, as well as intra- and interregional variation.

It finds that every approach has something to contribute, but IPE more so than realism. Constructivist theories are particularly useful in explaining China’s popularity in the Middle East and Africa.

Joerg Friedrichs (2019) 'Explaining China’s popularity in the Middle East and Africa', Third World Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2019.1592670