Контуры глобальных трансформаций: политика, экономика, право

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The article analyses the transformation of Africa’s position in the emerging new model of world economic development. The author emphasizes that until recently, Africa was assigned the role of an “outsider” of the world economy. The transition of developed countries to a postindustrial and innovative development model has further exacerbated the lagging behind of the region’s countries in the foremost areas of the economy. Other negative factors that affected the development of African economies in the second decade of the 21st century include the high dependence of the African economy on commodity exports, the slowdown of China’s growth, the socio-economic consequences of the so-called “Arab Spring” and, primarily, the destruction of Libya, the continuation of old and the emergence of new conflicts in a number of African states. Despite numerous and often successful attempts by external forces to make sure that Africa remains an object of the world economy and politics, the continent is increasingly becoming an active “subject” in international relations, and its development in the coming decades may, in our view, change its position in the new model of world development. According to forecasts, including those made by the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, from the 2030s, Africa is expected to turn into the most important and almost unique global strategic reserve of raw materials in the “Coming (New) Industrial Revolution” – NPR, Next (in other documents New) Industrial Revolution. The African continent today occupies leading positions in the world precisely due to those commodities that have no equivalents and are vital for the development of defense and innovative technologies of the 21st century. Other important factors in the accelerated development of Africa are the quantitative and qualitative growth of the continent’s labor potential, the expansion of consumption in the African domestic markets, the economic diversification in a number of the continent’s countries by means of increasing the share of services and industry in the GDP, and a significant improvement in the business climate as a result of better investment legislation and gradual stabilization of domestic politics. Apart from the increase in financial proceeds arriving in various forms, regional integration (including a continental free trade zone) will be a key to accelerating economic growth in the African continent, which will allow for joint and more efficient use of the potential of individual African states. Modern Africa is a dynamically growing market of labor force, consumer goods, investments, modern technologies, and science-intensive machinery. The author anticipates realization of the scenario of gradual evolution of a unified pan-African pole of global significance in the foreseeable future.

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The article lays out a hypothesis that the global order slides into a new bipolarity in the context of the escalating geo-economic and geopolitical confrontation between the two poles that currently dominate the world the United States and China. The neo-bipolar construction cannot yet be regarded as an established new world order, but the general movement of the world economy and international relations in this direction is obvious. The neo-bipolar confrontation manifests itself with varying intensity in different regions of the world. The author argues that at present, the peripheral regions which are strategically important for the prospects of competition are becoming an important testing ground for relatively “safe” elaboration of methods and tactics of geo-economic rivalry and a mutual exchange of systemic attacks. Today, Africa has become practically the leading theater of the new bipolar confrontation. The article analyzes the economic, military and strategic aspects of the rivalry between the United States and China on the African continent. It provides a comparative analysis of the new African strategies of the two superpowers adopted at the end of 2018. The author suggests that in the context of the emerging global bipolarity, the strategies of the USA and China represent antagonistic programs based on fundamentally different initial messages. In the case of the US strategy, this is to deter by denial the spread of the competitor’s influence using tough policies, including forceful (while not necessarily military) confrontational actions. While China seeks to neutralize the opposition of the United States and its allies to Beijing’s expansion on the continent and to win the freedom of interaction with any partners in Africa causing minimal direct confrontation possible. Therefore, despite the seemingly “peripheral” importance of the confrontation on the continent, for the establishment of a neo-bipolar world order, the proclamation of the new US regional geopolitical strategy, which focuses on the containment of China in the name of protecting democracy and independence, can serve not only for Africa, but for the whole planet the same milestone signal as Churchill’s Fulton speech for the final advent of bipolarity in the post-war world.

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The author has developed new criteria for the inclusion of African countries in the group of small countries. It is noted that the criteria for assignment to small countries in the developed world cannot fully meet the criteria applicable to the African continent. On the basis of a comparison of the population of Africa with some countries of Europe, small states of the African continent are singled out. Emphasize the fact that a single criterion for attributing to small countries has not yet been developed. In the author’s opinion, it is incorrect to evaluate African countries using only economic indicators, since economic growth rates do not always coincide with demographic indicators, sociocultural transformations, and ethnic and tribal characteristics in Africa. The main types of foreign economic strategies of small African countries are identified and considered. It is shown that the states of the African continent often use several strategies for the development of their countries. The small countries of the African continent are actively involved in integration processes that fit into the overall concept of African modernization and development. An important role in the processes of modernization in Africa is played by international financial, educational, innovative and technical programs. Often, it is precisely small countries that become a kind of transport hub at the regional level, which contributes to the strengthening of foreign economic relations between the countries of the regions of the African continent, attracts considerable financial, resource, and innovative capital to African countries. The historical and ethno-tribal characteristics of some African states, especially the long and bloody wars, hinder the progressive development of these countries. A vivid example of such tragic events is Rwanda (attributed to the small states by the author of the article), where incessant civil wars have undermined the economic and political stability in the region. In such cases, substantial international assistance will be required with the involvement of Rwanda’s neighbouring countries for the implementation of possible major regional programs and investment projects. Since innovative infrastructure projects in African countries are possible only with the involvement of all countries of the region, in this regard, Russia will need new management approaches and interesting projects for the integrated development of the African continent to actively participate in ambitious African projects.

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The article considers the essence and peculiarities of realizing of human security in the EU external policy in general and specifically in Africa. The article reveals the principles of the EU interest in Africa as a focus of their humanitarian policy: phantoms of the collective memory of the political class of Western European countries, huge potential of resources and markets, migration and terrorist threat. It is argued that this policy is considered by the EU as its strategic foreign policy narrative, in the course of which the Union, while ensuring the security of the African continent, primarily realizes its own interests. Specific features of the interpretation of this narrative in official documents of Germany as a key member of the EU are specified. It is revealed that Germany aims to play a major role in shaping European policy towards the African continent, and the specificity of its approach is economic-centric, which distinguishes it from the EU’s general approach to Africa. The key question of the article is how is disinterested Germany’s role, despite its permeation with the spirit of liberal values as a supplier of human security to African countries. It is shown that the discrimination of refugees and migrants in migration flows in the EU emphasized the importance of the Union’s activities in ensuring human security in Africa. In accordance with its goal to become the leading actor of the EU policy on the continent, its role as a leader of the liberal world and the peculiarities of the consequences of the migration crisis for the political and party system of the country and the stability of the social state, Germany proposed the German “Marshall Plan” for Africa as a concretization of its humanitarian policy on the continent. The parameters of this Plan, its advantages and implementation difficulties are considered. It is concluded that Germany’s approach to Africa, on the whole, indisputably contributes to the latter’s development. At the same time, it is to a large extent focused on solving the tasks of ensuring national security of Germany itself, promoting the interests of German business, creating new German “reserves” in Africa through the African partnership. In this bi-directional process there is no obvious contradiction, but the results of this process can become ambivalent.

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The article deals with China’s policy in Africa in the last decade. As the analysis shows, China has been steadily increasing its presence in Africa, not only in the countries rich in natural resources – though it is resources, especially oil, that remain of particular importance for the Chinese economy – but also in countries poor on natural resources and bearing little strategic value. The author examines unique features of China’s diplomatic practices on the continent, as well as explores China-Africa trade relations and Beijing’s activities as a donor and investor in Africa. Special attention is given to the Belt and Road Initiative, which plays a significant part in China’s foreign strategy, as well as to the role of African countries located on the crossroads between land and maritime Silk Roads. The Chinese strategy involves massive infrastructure projects, including the construction of railways and highways, upgrades of aviation communications, new energy projects, industrial parks, as well as the construction of seaports in coastal countries. The increase in Beijing’s investment flow to the African economies and the expansion of its spheres of influence on the continent are extensively examined by politicians, scientists and the media. On one hand, Beijing is often credited for the rapid economic growth of African countries, with some now experiencing world’s fastest rates of growth. On the other hand, some accuse Beijing of “neo-colonialism”, claiming that China is guided only by its own interests, which are radically different from African interests, that it violates human rights and disregards environmental regulations in its desire to grab as much natural resources as possible. The author argues that an objective analysis of the various aspects of Beijing’s activities in Africa in the last decade, as well as an examination of the way these activities are seen by Africans themselves, may shed some light on the nature of China’s intentions in Africa.

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The article discusses commercial relations and investment flows between India and the countries of Africa against the backdrop of globalization in the 21st century. The scale and substance of their economic interaction, determined by the level of development of their domestic economies and the specifics of external demand for the goods produced, significantly differ. African countries continue to require an inflow of foreign investments, especially given the substantial lag the majority of such countries still demonstrates in the development of their own research and development sector. In Africa’s intercontinental contacts, a high degree of involvement is shown by India, whose government adopted the 2002 “Focus Africa” program aimed at promoting consistent development of economic contacts with the continent’s countries. A considerable share of the shadow sector in their GDPs remains an essential negative feature of economic structures of the African countries and India. It not only complicates adequate assessment of the economic processes ongoing in those countries, but also has an adverse effect on the efficiency of their state institutes. One can observe the emergence of the middle class (although uneven by scale) and, as a result, of new types of consumption and demand, and their proliferation. This is making their domestic markets increase and diversify, which, in turn heightens foreign exporters’ and investors’ interest in accessing such markets. Especially important here is India’s economic policy on the relations with the countries of Africa, including its use of “soft power” for further expansion of its position. The article focuses on the main forms of economic relations of India and African countries, the growing activity of large businesses, and high level annual economic summits. African countries’ exports to India retain a high share of raw materials, and, primarily, agricultural produce and hydrocarbons. The share of African oil in India’s total imports in 2016 amounted to 15%. While the leading countries of the West continue their traditional presence in the African and South Asian markets, China, as an exporter and investor, is gaining in economic influence. The role of Japanese and South Korean capitals in the competition for African markets is also on the rise. In February 2018, African countries agreed to create a common market. This prospect will significantly intensify competition for economic positions in trade and investments with the countries of the African continent.

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The article analyzes the opportunities and threats facing the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria at the moment. Algeria has the potential to become a regional leader in one of the most strategically important regions of the world in a number of parameters. These are natural and human resources, stable economic and diplomatic ties with the Arab world, Europe and America. Both the major powers and the neighbours in the region have placed their hopes in Algeria as a key partner in the efforts to ensure security and combat terrorism. The Algerian authorities seek to present their country as a strong regional leader, free from the internal divisions and extremism that have plagued other Arab States. However, in reality the situation is more complicated, Algeria is a potentially unstable state. At the moment, Algeria is in a difficult situation, given both the internal situation and the danger posed from the outside. The main reason for the political and economic uncertainty in the country is the expectations and fears associated with the upcoming change of power, the presidential elections are scheduled for 2019. Algeria’s socio-economic sphere was another vulnerable place that could, in case of unfavourable developments, create instability. The Berber issue, which threatens the unity of the country, is one of the long-standing major problems of the Algeria. The confrontation between Algeria and Morocco on the Western Sahara issue has led to keep on the zone of instability in the region and has contributed to the terrorist threats. Over the past decade, Algeria has had to pay increasing attention and resources to regional security issues. In this area, Algeria has demonstrated its commitment to peaceful diplomacy, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and rejection of any external role of its armed forces. This position has brought the Republic international recognition as a regional leader and a reliable partner in the fight against terrorism.

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China and Egypt have established diplomatic relations for 62 years. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI) and welcomed countries along the routes to take part in co-operations in the framework of the BRI. And in 2014, Egyptian new-elected President Sisi visited China and both sides improved the bilateral relationship to the comprehensive strategic partnership. Then in 2016, Egyptian President Sisi launched a new national development strategy named “Egypt Vision 2030”. Therefore China and Egypt want to look for suitable areas to cooperate according to these two plans. In this case, this paper analyzes the implementation of the strategic synergy between the BRI and “Egypt Vision 2030”, including the introduction to the “Egypt Vision 2030”, the mutual cognition of the developmental strategies of China and Egypt, the outcomes achieved and the risks faced by the synergy between the strategies of these two countries, and then considers that both China and Egypt welcome and support each other’s developmental strategy. At present, the synergy between the two countries’ strategies has made significant achievements under the frequent promotion of top leaders, but there are also political, economic and security risks in the process of strategic synergy, which still hinder thesynergy.

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Africa is rising as the new market in the 21st century. Before the 2000s Africa was regarded as a “continent of crisis” plastered with poverty and war. However, it is now being spotlighted as the ‘last new market on Earth’ due to its development potential. Its value is being reevaluated because it presents new opportunities as an unexplored market. It present opportunities across a wide range of industries: from consumer goods to manufacturing, agriculture, natural resource development and infrastructure. Korea has been ignorant of Africa’s development potential till the mid-2000s but is now looking at Africa as a new opportunity market or cooperation partner. It is taking diverse measures such as through state visits and increase of development aid to strengthen cooperation. Korea perceives Africa’s potential from a future oriented perspective and is expanding economic cooperation from a long-term standpoint. Consequently, Korea is working towards establishing a future oriented partnership with Africa based on mutual trust by identifying core partnership projects that meet the needs of Africa. Korea seeks substantiality of its economic partnership with Africa by identifying priority countries of cooperation.

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ISSN 2542-0240 (Print)
ISSN 2587-9324 (Online)