Call for Papers: China and Europe in the African Continent - Economic, Legal and Political Perspectives


June 16, 2023

The crisis of multilateralism and health emergencies raise new and outstanding challenges for the relationships between Africa, China, and Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine is reshaping the policies of China and Europe towards the African continent, and challenging consolidated trends. On the one hand, China engagement was characterized by a massive influx of investments into governments and infrastructures in the absence of conditionalities such as structural reforms. Western analysts called it a ‘debt-trap’, part of a strategy for drawing African countries into China’s sphere of influence and establish a ‘new colonialism’. On the other hand, European engagement was characterized by the implementation of development aids accompanied by certain conditions to foster its political and economic model, in the context of growing authoritarianism. Critics underline the ‘neo colonial’ traits and the intent to maintain European hegemony in the continent. In both cases, the same interest towards natural resources and the access to a growing market shapes the confrontation between the three powers.

We invite submission of paper proposals addressing the general theme of the conference from economic, legal, and political perspectives. The conference and the subsequent publication will provide a platform for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to engage in a constructive and informed debate on the different strategies pursued by Europe and China in Africa, and their impact on the continent's development, governance, and security.


Abstracts of no more than 500 words must be submitted by 15 July 2023. Together with the abstract, applicants should submit: (i) the author’s name, affiliation, and contact details; and (ii) a small biography.

The abstracts will be assessed by the organizers on the basis of: (i) originality and innovative nature of the work; (ii) relevance to the conference’s themes; (iii) representation across the three geographic regions; (iv) career stages; and (v) gender balance. Only one abstract per author will be considered.

Successful applicants will be informed no later than 30 July 2023.

Selected speakers must submit a paper (ca. 6,000 words) by 15 November 2023.

The conference will take place on 30 November and 1 December 2023 at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies campus in Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33 Pisa, Italy. 

All submissions and communications should be filed via email (

Download the Full Call for Paper here.


There is no fee for participating in the conference. Based on the number and quality of submissions, we will be able to cover travel and accommodation costs to a limited number of speakers. In case, we will privilege those that do not have access to funds from their institution. Speakers seeking financial aid must file their applications upon acceptance of their abstract, and in any case no later than 1 September 2023.