Research course

Rising Powers and Africa

Open University · Department of Design, Development, Environment and Materials

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The Open University 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.

Current/recent research projects

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

  • Chinese national oil companies and the economic development of African oil producers (with colleagues at Dundee, Peking, CASS, and the African Centre for Energy Policy).
  • 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 (with colleagues at Durham).
  • China goes global: a comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia (a collaboration with SOAS under the Rising Powers Programme).

Potential supervisors

  • Dr Dinar Kale
  • Dr Ben Lampert
  • Professor Giles Mohan

Department specialisms

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

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
48 months


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Design, Development, Environment and Materials
+44 (0)1908 332940