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  1. Study at the OU
  2. Research degrees
  3. Research areas
  4. Development Studies
  5. Asian drivers and Africa

Asian drivers and Africa

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The OU has a wide-ranging approach to international development which focuses on science, technology, innovation and development; and institutional and human capabilities in development. One of the key areas we are researching is the Asian Drivers. Since 1979, China has grown at an average rate of more than nine per cent per year. India has grown at a similar pace since the early 1990s. At the OU we ask: what impact will China and India have on the developing world in general, and on the nature and incidence of poverty in particular? This question is particularly important in light of the key Millennium Development Goal to halve the incidence of global poverty by 2015.

We have a growing number of research students examining different facets of this question. They are based in the Development Policy and Practice Group and undertake primary research in Africa and Asia. OU students are also part of vibrant international networks examining the rise of Asia for international development and regularly attend conferences and workshops on this subject.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • The social and environmental impacts of large Chinese construction projects
  • The political implications of Chinese engagement with Africa
  • The developmental impact of highly-skilled migration among Chinese and Indians
  • Chinese SMEs in the developing world
  • African responses to China

Current / recent research projects

We have had a number of ESRC funded research projects, including:

  • China as the new 'shaper' of global development (a collaboration with IDS at Sussex under the Rising Powers Programme)
  • The social and political impacts of South-South migration: A comparative analysis of Chinese migrant integration in West Africa
  • Politics of Chinese engagement with African 'development': Case studies of Angola and Ghana.

We currently have another entitled China goes global: A comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia.

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Courtney Courtnage
+44 (0)1908 655799

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.