chapter  21
16 Pages

Conclusion

WithChris Alden, Daniel Large

This concluding chapter reflects on some of the themes emerging from the book, showing how post-colonial studies – with its focus on discourses, social hierarchies and enduring structures of power – is of great relevance to the emerging scholarship on China–Africa. Insofar as Western knowledge production in the realm of the social sciences is bound up with power, however, the dislodging of that power should be – and is – freeing up discursive space for some of these alternative voices to be heard. In this respect, the story of China and Africa/Africa and China is not being scripted exclusively by Western sources anymore but rather is being produced from a range of disparate sources. For Africans, China’s leadership of globalisation is an evident reality and increasingly influences their understanding of the relationship in all its facets. The pluralism evident in fluid and dynamic forms of scholarship on Africa and China, and eclecticism of work, is a strength. Taken forward, it suggests that beyond established disciplinary engagements, or work in specialist sub-fields, the very lack of an easy fit into a defined, established field of study demonstrates how pursuing questions concerning Africa and China has helped open up and contribute toward new ways to grapple with global changes.