Universiteit Leiden

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The Impediments to Uncovering the Human Rights Dimension of Sino-African Relations

maandag 26 november 2018
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP Den Haag


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About the lecture

In her lecture, Dr. Stacey Links will reflect on her recently defended doctoral research, ‘The Impediments to Uncovering the Human Rights Dimension of Sino-African Relations.’ In her research, she argues against the dominant discourse that assumes Sino-African relations to be void of or inimical to human rights. She problematises the discourse’s representations of ‘human rights,’ ‘the nature of relations,’ as well as the ‘actors involved,’ through a critical and postcolonial lens.

Links contends that contrary to the goal of ensuring international human rights protection, the dominant discourse external to Sino-African relations, in fact, reinforces processes of ‘othering’, reproduces colonial tropes, and reignites contestation over human rights. This has tangible consequences for the prospect of human rights dialogue and protection internationally. She asserts that if left unaddressed, the continued reproduction of this discourse coupled with the realities of shifting global power spell increased international polarisation and weakened international cooperation, as we know it.

About the speaker

Dr. Stacey Links is a researcher whose work is focused on the nexus of critical international relations, critical human rights scholarship and development. Her research in her PhD trajectory focused specifically on the human rights dimension of Sino-African relations. Her doctoral research was conducted through Utrecht University and funded by the Dutch Foreign Office as part of a broader project. 

Her doctoral research involved liaising with key scholars in Sino-African relations and examining key policy directives from the US as well as EU. During this time she was afforded the rare opportunity to attend the yearly high-level Beijing Forum on Human Rights for three consecutive years. More broadly, she is interested in how South-South cooperation can tackle regional challenges, looking at such cooperation in the light of a reconfigured global order. Her approach to International Relations is informed by postcolonial and decolonial insights, both of which often go untouched in international relations scholarship and practice.

Prior to the completion of her doctoral research, Stacey worked in the field of human rights and development in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Haiti, and The Hague. 

She completed her Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Leiden in conjunction with The Clingendael Institute for International Relations in The Netherlands. She was awarded her bachelors and honours degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in International Studies and is a two-time recipient of The Nelson Mandela Scholarship.

About the seminars

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.


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