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Deborah Bräutigam

Bernard L. Schwartz Professor in International Political Economy

Director of China-Africa Research Initiative


Dr. Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Political Economy and Director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Her most recent books include The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (OUP, 2010) and Will Africa Feed China? (OUP, 2015). Before joining SAIS in 2012, she taught at Columbia University and American University. Dr. Bräutigam’s teaching and research focus on international development strategies, governance, and foreign aid.

She has twice won the Fulbright research award and is a recipient of fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and research grants from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Centre for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR).

She has served as a consultant for Transparency International, the United Nations, the World Bank, DFID, GIZ, DANIDA, the African Development Bank, and USAID, and has provided commentary to the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Guardian, CNN, NPR, Al-Jazeera, VOA, CCTV, and MSNBC. Dr. Bräutigam has been a visiting scholar at the World Bank, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and advised more than a dozen governments on China-Africa relations. Her PhD is from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Brautigam, D. (2016). Will Africa feed China? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Brautigam, D. (2009). The dragons gift: The real story of China in Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




  • Agricultural Policy, Trade and Commodities
  • Corruption and Transnational Crime
  • Developing Nations
  • Economics
  • Economic Development
  • Globalization
  • Food Security
  • Foreign Aid and American Foreign Policy
  • Foreign Aid and Global Poverty
  • Governance
  • International Debt
  • Nation-building and Democratization
  • Newly Industrialized Countries
  • Oil Politics
  • Privatization and Private Sector Development
  • Rural Development
  • Sustainable Development

In the News

The poorest countries may owe less to China than first thought.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in The Economist, 7/4

China's debt relief fails indebted African countries.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in Taiwan News, 6/20

Africa seen getting more debt relief from China than bondholders.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in Bloomberg, 6/18

What to make of China’s debt relief announcement.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in The Diplomat, 6/11

China may agree to delay, not forgive, $150 billion Africa debt.

Deborah Bräutigam quoted in Bloomberg, 5/18

Africa has a question for Beijing: Will you forgive us our debt?

Deborah Bräutigam quoted in South China Morning Post, 5/5

China in Africa is more than a land grab

Deborah Bräutigam cited in Bloomberg, 4/27

Foreign policy experts call for end to hate crimes against Asian American community: Readers

Deborah Bräutigam and Andrew Mertha cited in USA Today, 4/15

Chinese debt relief: Fact and fiction

Deborah Bräutigam wrote in The Diplomat, 4/15

China’s infrastructure finance model is changing. Here’s how.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in The African Report, 1/14

Big promises, few results: Chinese farms falter in Uganda.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in The Christian Science Monitor, 9/10

Are we missing the boat somewhere?

Deborah Bräutigam cited in Liberian Observer, 7/10

Pompeo's view of glory disgraces U.S. diplomacy.

Deborah Bräutigam quoted in Xinhua, 6/15

No evidence of Chinese debt traps in Africa.

Deborah Bräutigam interviewed on The China Africa Project podcast, 6/15

Can the Belt and Road become a trap for China?

Deborah Bräutigam cited in Project Syndicate, 5/22

SDG Knowledge Weekly: Update and Perspectives on Belt and Road Initiative.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in International Institute for Sustainable Development SDG Knowledge HUB, 5/2

China’s Belt Road stretches to Africa.

Deborah Bräutigam interviewed on Brookings Institution Dollars and Sense, podcast 4/29

In China, rebranding a foreign loan initiative to calm fears over geopolitical reach.

Deborah Bräutigam quoted in the Los Angeles Times, 4/26

Is China the world’s loan shark?

Deborah Bräutigam wrote in The New York Times, 4/26

China tries to calm jitters about the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

Deborah Bräutigam cited in The Economist, 4/25

Misdiagnosing the Chinese infrastructure push.

Deborah Bräutigam wrote in The American Interest, 4/4