Aleksandra Sharapova

ORCID identifier:

Areas of expertise
South Asian Studies; India; contemporary foreign policy; history


I am Aleksandra Sharapova, a PhD student (a four year program) in Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Turku. I have started my PhD in 2021, aiming for an article-based dissertation. 

My project studies India’s contemporary foreign policy towards Africa (the time period presumably will be 2000–2025). Since the Roman era Africa has always caught the attention of the developed countries as the continent was a huge field for exploring, complete terra incognita. Later a new wave of interest came as Africa possesses abundant resources and has connections to commercial maritime routes – the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. It is no wonder that India is interested in Africa; the Indo-African trade could easily be traced back for centuries.

Today, India spares no efforts not only to become a trusted trade and political partner for African states, but also to win their heartfelt sympathies. For example, Indian leaders never tire of reminding that India – just like Africa – fought against colonialism, thereby opposing itself to the former colonial empires and emphasizing its common historical and cultural background with Africa. The Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the South-South cooperation narratives form the basis of economic and political interaction between India and African nations.

As China is considered a major player on the continent, comparative analysis of Indian and Chinese policy towards Africa is to be carried out, considering the prospects of international relations between Africa and its key partners. The key question that this project addresses is: how India respond to Chinese strategy? Is Asian involvement in Africa (i.e. India and China) a case of rising powers neo-colonial rivalry?This study will review the Indian foreign policy institutions, diaspora influence and military presence on the continent. 

Last updated on 2021-25-11 at 13:17