Nicholas Loubere is Associate Senior Lecturer at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University. His research examines microcredit and digital finance in rural China, and Chinese migration to Africa for resource extraction.

Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness: a Conversation with Miriam Driessen

How is China’s success in Africa experienced by those who work on the Chinese-run construction sites that have emerged across the continent? In Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness (Hong Kong University Press 2019), Miriam Driessen follows the lives of Chinese road builders in Ethiopia to reveal the friction of Chinese-led development on the ground. […]

Land Wars: A Conversation with Brian DeMare

The Maoist land reform campaigns were an integral element in the Chinese Communist Party’s rise and subsequent ability to maintain power. In Land Wars: The Story of China’s Agrarian Revolution (Stanford University Press 2019), Brian DeMare weaves together historical and narrative accounts, providing a detailed picture of how the land reforms shaped the lives of […]

How the Chinese Censors Highlight Fundamental Flaws in Academic Publishing

Heads of major international organisations and world-famous actresses are not all that has been disappearing in China in recent months. According to a complaint recently posted online by several scholars, Springer Nature—the world’s largest academic publisher—is guilty of removing ‘politically sensitive’ content published in the Transcultural Research book series from their Chinese website at the […]

The Global Age of Algorithm: Social Credit and the Financialisation of Governance in China

Much has been made of the Orwellian social control aspects of the emerging ‘social credit system’ in China. However, social credit is more than simply a Chinese version of big brother: it is an unprecedented climax of the global financialisation project and a signal of a potential dark digital future dominated by algorithmic rule.

Beyond the Great Paywall: A Lesson from the Cambridge University Press China Incident

On 18 August it was revealed that Cambridge University Press had complied with the demands of Chinese government censors to block access on its website in China to hundreds of ‘politically sensitive’ articles published in its prestigious China Quarterly journal. The ensuing debate has generally overlooked the problematic nature of the commercial academic publishing industry. Isn’t it time to take the profit motive out of the equation and to rediscover a certain measure of idealism in academia?

There and Back Again: Conceptualising the Chinese Gold Rush in Ghana

On 15 May 2013, Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Task Force aimed at bringing ‘sanity’ to the country’s rapidly (and chaotically) expanding small-scale mining sector. Over the course of the next month, the army and police proceeded to ‘flush out’ and deport nearly 5,000 foreign nationals who were illegally […]

Laying Off Responsibility: Microcredit, Entrepreneurship, and China’s Industrial Retrenchment

When the news broke earlier this year that Chinese state-owned steel and coal companies would be laying off anywhere between 1.8 to 6 million workers over the next two to three years, the government quickly moved to provide assurances that the socioeconomic fallout would be mitigated through 150 million yuan in assistance for the newly […]

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