Call for Participation: Conceptualising the "Belt and Road Initiative" and its Effects
Since Xi Jinping visited Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, in 2013 to unveil the "One Belt, One Road" strategy, China has spent nearly US$ 1 trillion in development assistance and infrastructure financing in more than 60 countries. Since renamed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this massive and multi-faceted project has set social, economic, and political transformations with the potential to reshape the globe.
While there has been no shortage of analysis about the project's origins and initial trajectories, our project is different. We view the BRI as a potential engine of transformations that are varied and difficult to predict; we set our sights on what occurs downstream, i.e. not in the minds of policymakers and project planners but on the ground in specific contexts. But what is the BRI? What historical antecedents, conceptual frameworks, and comparative points of reference should frame how we project on the BRI and its impact? We welcome scholars eager to leverage their respective disciplinary and empirical expertise to ask how we might best conceptualise the BRI and its emergent effects on Asian and Eurasian contexts.
While the BRI's effects will reveal themselves for years and decades, we have identified three promising conceptual themes: effects on the global supply chain, geopolitical relations, and cultural exchanges on Asia. We are open to papers exploring additional themes.