Title

The New Shuffle for Africa: The EU and the US vs. China and Russia

Description

Russia and China have increased their strategic investments in the African Continent. Despite differing motivations and levels of investment, both Russia and China’s adventurism into the African continent represent a strategic threat to the preeminence of the Western Liberal international order in the context of Africa. These illiberal emerging nations provide an alternative model to the democratic, more open model of the West. A multitude of African nations, reliant on international investment, are being presented with an ultimatum: the West or the rising East. Africa’s resource abundance and its potential for growth in comparison to other continents make it a strategic region in which international actors should increase investment. This increased investment will allow international actors to facilitate and direct the growth of Africa and thus the future of international relations in the region. One of the primary instruments of the West is NATO. However, the recent breakdown in NATO’s ability to project a clear and concentrated narrative has weakened the West. External pressures from China and Russia as well as internal criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuelle Macron further the weakening caused by NATO’s diluted narrative. NATO is a reflection of its parts; if NATO members do not establish an effective presence throughout and around the world, NATO will lose influence to rising powers. Thus, the following paper will compare and contrast the interests and efforts of Russia, China, the U.S. and the EU in Africa, providing analysis and suggestions on how the E.U. and the U.S. should address and respond to these issues.

Chair

Silvia D’Amato

Discussant

Silvia D’Amato & Jonas Driedger

Session Type

Panel 3

Topic

Security Threats and Policies

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The New Shuffle for Africa: The EU and the US vs. China and Russia

Russia and China have increased their strategic investments in the African Continent. Despite differing motivations and levels of investment, both Russia and China’s adventurism into the African continent represent a strategic threat to the preeminence of the Western Liberal international order in the context of Africa. These illiberal emerging nations provide an alternative model to the democratic, more open model of the West. A multitude of African nations, reliant on international investment, are being presented with an ultimatum: the West or the rising East. Africa’s resource abundance and its potential for growth in comparison to other continents make it a strategic region in which international actors should increase investment. This increased investment will allow international actors to facilitate and direct the growth of Africa and thus the future of international relations in the region. One of the primary instruments of the West is NATO. However, the recent breakdown in NATO’s ability to project a clear and concentrated narrative has weakened the West. External pressures from China and Russia as well as internal criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuelle Macron further the weakening caused by NATO’s diluted narrative. NATO is a reflection of its parts; if NATO members do not establish an effective presence throughout and around the world, NATO will lose influence to rising powers. Thus, the following paper will compare and contrast the interests and efforts of Russia, China, the U.S. and the EU in Africa, providing analysis and suggestions on how the E.U. and the U.S. should address and respond to these issues.