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Jing Gu - Research Fellow, Centre Director

Business, Markets and the State; Green Transformations
T: +44 (0)1273 915692


Stacey Townsend

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Dr Jing Gu is the Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development at the Institute of Development Studies. She has an interdisciplinary background in law, economics and international development and has extensive experience in the field of governance, business and development. As Centre Director, Jing Gu not only provides academic, policy and administrative leadership but also carries out academic research, training and consultancy on business, governance and development for the UNDP, UNCTAD, World Bank, African Development Bank, IPRC, MOFCOM, DFID, GTZ and NGOs such as the China-Africa Business Council.

She has led many interdisciplinary research projects involving multi-country teams, including the ground breaking pioneering research on China’s outward investment in Africa which involved field research in 12 African countries and 9 Chinese provinces from 2007-2012. Her innovative research work has provided important new insights into the complex reality of state and business motivational and operational practices, challenging orthodox conventional wisdom.

She has published widely on China and emerging powers, China’s international development role and China-Africa relations. Recent publications include 'China and Emerging Economies in Development', in Paul Haslam et al. (eds) Introduction to International Development: Approaches, Actors and Issues (forthcoming, Oxford University Press); ‘International Development Law and Sustainable Development’ in Oxford Bibliographies: International Law (Oxford University Press, 2015); 'Is China's Role in African Fragile States Exploitative or Developmental? (IDS Policy Brief 91, 2015); ‘China's New Silk Road to Development Cooperation: Opportunities and Challenges' (United Nations University Press, 2015); 'The BRICS in International Development: The State of the Debate' (Forthcoming, Palgrave); and ‘Chinese State Capitalism? Rethinking the Role of the State and Business in Chinese Development Cooperation in Africa’ (Open Access Special Issue Vol 81, World Development, 2016).

The RPID Programme aims to provide high-level guidance on key debates in international development policy and on how IDS and its partner organisations can best influence these debates through research and other activittes.

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China is now the African continent's biggest trading partner, and also involved in a wide range of development cooperation projects including in agriculture, health and social policy. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of China in the field of international development cooperation.

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The study aimed to generate knowledge on what is the best way that Africa can benefit from China's strong economic engagement with the continent.

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The purpose of this project is to explain and evaluate China’s approach and contribution to governance, development and state-building in Africa's 'fragile states.'

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This IDS led project aims to evaluate changing trade and investment relations between China, and also the UK, with Kenya and South Africa and the consequences of these changes.

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The Development Studies Learning Partnership was created under the BRICS Initiative in 2011, and enables collaborative learning between traditional and emerging actors in development, be they academics, researchers, practitioners or policy-makers.

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An evaluation of DFID's China Country Programme, assessing the country strategy, links to poverty outcomes and DFID's corporate objectives.

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This programme will assess the impact of new interventions and policy options across a range of policy areas.

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This project, funded by the Chinese Government's Ministry Of Commerce, is aimed at addressing how IDA is given to developing countries (particularly Africa) and if there are ways of improving China's development assistance to create opportunities for independent development.

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This research seeks to assess the impact of China’s growing economic relationships in Latin America and Africa in the context of a major structural shift in the global political economy; ‘South-South dialogue’; and sustainable development strategies addressing poverty alleviation and reduced inequality.

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China's engagement with Africa has continued to attract much attention across the world. A debate has formed about the benefits of this engagement on Africa's development. This project aims to identify and evaluate the implications of Chinese FDI on African development.

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Search and filter for all the author's publications by journal, research theme, country and much more.


What Can the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Learn from Other Development Banks?

IDS Policy Briefing 113 (2016)

Global development has reached a critical turning point. In addition to achieving middle-income status, several recipient countries are now also becoming donors and lenders to other developing countries. China in particular has rapidly expanded its development finance programme and launched new multilateral initiatives. More details

IDS publications on international development research

China’s New Silk Road to Development Cooperation: Opportunities and Challenges

This paper explores issues relating to the debate on the nature of the contribution made by Chinese development cooperation, especially in Africa and Asia. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Policy Briefing 103, 'Trilateral Cooperation on
Trade and Investment: Implications for African Industrialisation'.

Trilateral Cooperation on Trade and Investment: Implications for African Industrialisation

IDS Policy Briefing 103 (2015)

Africa’s trade and investment relations with China and the UK has changed drastically over the last few decades, especially with Chinese economic growth. However, while economic openness, trade and investment appear to have come hand-in-hand with poverty reduction in the rise of the “Asian Tigers” and, recently, in China itself, the links appear, so far, to be less clear in sub-Saharan Africa. More details


Is China’s Role in African Fragile States Exploitative or Developmental?

IDS Policy Briefing 91 (2015)

China’s increasing engagement in Africa has generated heated debates over the extent to which its activities are exploitative or developmental. More details


China’s Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debate

IDS Evidence Report 116 (2015)

This research aims to investigate the recent evolution of China’s discourse on development and aid. More precisely, how do China’s policymakers and influential scholars understand and debate China’s role in the field of international development aid, specifically in the context of China as a ‘rising power’? More details

Thematic Expertise:
Aid; BRICS and Rising Powers; Capacity Development; Governance.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Business and Development Centre; Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development; Rising Powers in International Development.

Geographic Expertise:
Sub Saharan Africa; China.