Rising Powers


What impact will Asia’s rise have on the rest of the developing world? DPP research on the Asian Drivers has produced the first and most detailed analysis of the complex economic, political and social impacts of China’s rise on Africa.

Project design

Asia has become the major source of dynamism in the global economy, largely as a result of the rapid growth of China and India. The Asian Driver economies are distinctive because of: 

  • their size
  •  their rapid growth
  •  their recent emergence
  • the distinctiveness of their firms and states

Currently, the primary Asian Driver economies are China and India. The global Asian Drivers research network seeks to provide answers to six sets of policy- and poverty-related challenges posed to low-income economies by the rise of the Asian Drivers: 

  • What are the consequences for their economic growth?
  • Who are likely to be the losers and winners from the growing dynamism of the Asian Drivers?
  • What is the likely impact of the dynamism of the Asian Drivers on the environment?
  • Given these growth, distributional and environmental impacts, what are the implications for development strategies in developing economies?
  •  How should developing countries now engage with the global economy?
  •  Given their rapid growth and size, what arethe implications of this shift in global power for institutions of local, national, regional and global governance, in the public, private and non-governmental sectors?

Project outcomes or activities

  • A leading role in the 22-country studies of the Africa Economic Research Consortium on the Impact of China on Africa (http://www.aercafrica.org/programmes/research_collab_china.asp)
  • A major theoretical role in examining the impact of the Asian Drivers on global commodity prices, and in working in nine African countries with researchers seeking to promote linkages from the resource sector arising as a consequence of the China-induced boom in commodity prices (www.commodities.open.ac.uk)
  • Leading research on Chinese investments in Angola, Nigeria and Ghana, and the role played by Chinese diasporas and Chinese migrants in these, and other Africa economies
  • Run a network of European researchers in an ESRC sponsored initiative to create a network of researchers working on China’s impact in Africa (http://risingpowers.open.ac.uk/)
  • Researched the indirect impact of China’s exports to the US and the EU on SSA’s emerging manufactured exports sectors.