CROUCHING BEAR, HIDDEN DRAGON: CHINA, RUSSIA, AND SECURITY DILEMMA DYNAMICS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Pugh, Tad E.
Borer, Douglas A.
Freeman, Michael E.
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The collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States as the preeminent global power. China’s rise has marked it as the primary threat to the United States’ top position, but its economic rise alone has not been enough, and it found a ready partner in Russia to bolster its balancing efforts. Their mutual resentment of the U.S.-led international order drove them to greater cooperation, and an evolving partnership emerged. On the surface, this partnership appears to be a solid challenger-bloc that poses a significant threat to the United States’ top position. However, in the past, instances of great power competition spawned rivalries that escalated into costly back-and-forth exchanges between states that tore partnerships apart. The solidarity of the Sino-Russian partnership is seemingly facing stressors due to competition between them in Sub-Saharan Africa that may test the strength of this relationship. This thesis explores the nature of Sino-Russian competition in Sub-Saharan Africa using the concept of the security dilemma. In doing so, it finds evidence that security dilemma dynamics between China and Russia centered on Russia’s growing reliance on the Chinese oil and gas market are becoming an important driver of Russia’s activities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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