The first decade of the 21st century has seen China and India reach unprecedented levels of economic growth. To fuel their burgeoning economies, China and India are increasingly looking to Africa where the recent discovery of oil resources has spurred major foreign investment by the two superpowers. Comparatively, however, Chinese efforts to enter the oil industry in Africa have been more successful than India's. My research question, then, is: Which factors explain the differential success of China and India in entering the African oil industry? I argue that differential success is due to differences in the Chinese and Indian domestic political systems. More specifically, I hypothesize that Chinese entry efforts have been comparatively more successful due to differences in the following factors: (1) motives of entry (security vs. profit considerations) and (2) perceptions of China and India among African states. As a topic of interest and relevance for multiple academic fields, my research draws different elements from fields such as political science, economics, and international business.


Parakkal, Raju


International Relations


International Economics


african oil industry, foreign direct investment, china, india, national oil companies, differential success

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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