Klinger Receives Grant to Research China-Africa Space Cooperation

Julie Klinger, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, was recently awarded a travel grant from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies China-Africa Research Initiative to conduct research on China-Africa space cooperation in South Africa, Tunisia and Algeria.

According to Klinger, while China’s investments in African countries have received significant attention in recent years, outer space cooperation has scarcely been mentioned in policy and research literature. Outer space cooperation between China, Latin American, and African partner states epitomizes the intersection of development, environment, and security interests of all parties involved.

“Increasingly, China and African countries are constructing remote sensing satellite networks in order to support integration of Belt and Road (BRI) partner states, while partnerships with Brazil have focused on managing environmental disasters and monitoring climate impacts,” Klinger said. “This fieldwork in Africa builds on my research on South-South space cooperation between Brazil and China.”

Given the centrality of satellite infrastructure to all other dimensions of South-South cooperation,the lack of research in this area represents serious gap in research and policy analysis, according to Klinger.

“The SAIS-CARI Fellowship will support a 30-day exploratory research visit to the space agencies and relevant research and government entities in South Africa, Algeria, and Tunisia to learn more about this important, but under-appreciated, aspect of international cooperation,” Klinger said.

Julie Michelle Klinger, PhD, specializes in development, environment, and security politics in Latin America and China in comparative and global perspective. Her recent book Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes (Cornell University Press in Fall 2017) received the 2017 Meridian Award from the American Association of Geographers for its “unusually important contribution to advancing the art and science of geography.”