Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Committee Member

John Tuman

Second Committee Member

Jonathan Strand

Third Committee Member

Dennis Pirages

Fourth Committee Member

John Curry

Number of Pages



This study seeks to explain the motivating factors behind Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns to the Middle East and Africa through a quantitative framework that utilizes a pooled cross-sectional time-series data set that covers 57 countries from 2003-2010. Prior research on the issue has hypothesized that China attempts to use external FDI to developing areas to promote national interests and help sustain economic growth. However, there has been an almost exclusive focus on economic determinants while generally ignoring political variables. The approach in this project attempts to fill this scholarly void by employing a broad array of independent variables that account for both economic and political influences in producing a timely model that yields robust results that will allow for generalizable statements to be made regarding the data. The findings demonstrate that pre-existing trade relations and strategically important natural resources (oil, ores, and metals) within host economies influence Chinese FDI to the Middle East and Africa. In addition, the study empirically shows that external FDI from China was heavily concentrated in economies with lower per capita income and directed toward regimes that may be classified as mildly authoritarian. The dissertation concludes with an analysis of larger policy implications and suggestions for future scholarly inquiry.


Africa; China; Foreign Direct Investment; International Relations; Middle East; Political Economy


Business | Economics | Political Science

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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