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China as the new 'shaper' of global development


Giles Mohan, DDEM, Open University
Frauke Urban, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex
Zhang Yanbing, Tsinghua University


ESRC Rising Powers Programme

Summary and aims

The pace and significance of China's rise has implications for both traditional and emerging powers, as well as for developing countries. Rising Powers Network is a a new network that will place China as the new 'shaper' of global development under the ESRC's Rising Power's Programme.

The network will bridge the gap between our understanding of China's policy interests and processes and its development impacts in low income countries, as well as implications of this for the international development community more broadly.

Members are leading academics, policy analysts and policy-makers from China, Europe and low income countries who will be led by Dr Frauke Urban of the Climate Change and Development Centre, Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and Prof Giles Mohan of the Open University.

Three two-day workshops will be organised in Beijing, London and Brighton. The first workshop will discuss the implications of a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of the domestic processes behind China's development activities for its external engagements. The second workshop will analyse the actors, institutions and modes of interaction through which China and low income countries engage. The third workshop will apply the analytical framework developed throughout the network activities to particular areas of on-going research on energy and the environment, focusing on the Mekong Region and Africa.

The impacts of the network will be an analytical framework and research agenda to inform future engagements between UK, low income countries and Chinese policy-makers.


Prof Giles Mohan,
Dr Frauke Urban,

Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502