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Understanding the role of Chinese capital in Southern Africa


State-owned enterprises have a different management strategy because the priority isn't profit maximization. For them - whether it's mineral procurement or infrastructure - there's a long term political goal for the Chinese government.

The Radical Pessimist, Kevan Harris explains why Chinese state-owned enterprise involvement in Southern Africa's extraction and infrastructure industries doesn't fit traditional leftist narratives (good or bad), what South-South transactions mean for African economies and global politics, and why our current blob theory of neoliberalism blinds us from seeing economic change.

Kevan recommends his colleague CK Lee's New Left Review article The Spectre of Global China.

Interview Transcript via Antidote Zine

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Kevan Harris

Kevan Harris is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles.


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