related work

events, conferences, calls for papers

Conceptualizing the “Belt and Road Initiative” and its Effects. An international conference organized by the Belt and Road in Global Perspective project at the University of Toronto, June 14-15, 2021.

related publications

Lin, Shaun, Naoko Shimazu & James Sidaway. 2021. Theorizing from the Belt & Road Initiative. Asia Pacific Viewpoint. Introduction to a collection of essays from a pre-workshop roundtable at the Third China Made Workshop in May 2021. The collection includes papers by Tim Bunnell, Galen Murton, Tim Oakes, Chi Yuan Woon, and Yang Yang.

Abdenur, Adriana, Faiara Folly & Mauricio Santoro. 2021. What Railway Deals Taught Chinese and Brazilians in the Amazon. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He, Yujia & Angela Tritto. 2021. Chinese-Invested Smart City Development In Southeast Asia – How Resilient are Urban Megaprojects in the Age of Covid-19? HKUST IEMS Thought Leadership Briefs, Number 56.

Gurung, Phurwa. 2021. Challenging infrastructural orthodoxies: Political and economic geographies of a Himalayan road. Geoforum 120 (March): 103-112.

Wu, Keping. 2020. Building infrastructure and making boundaries in Southwest China. In K. Wu & R. Weller (Eds.), It Happens Among People: Resonances and Extensions of the Work of Fredrik Barth (pp. 82-103). New York: Berghahn.

Goodfellow, Tom and Huang Zhengli. 2020. Contingent infrastructure and the dilution of ‘Chineseness’: reframing roads and rail in Kampala and Addis Ababa. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.

Tang, Xiaoyang. 2020. Co-evolutionary pragmatism: re-examine ‘China Model’ and its impact on developing countries. Journal of Contemporary China 29: 853-870.

Political Geography. 2020. Review forum reading Tim Winter’s Geocultural Power: China’s Quest to Revive the Silk Roads for the Twenty-First Century. Commentaries by Henryk Alff, Mark Frost, Marina Kaneti, Tim Oakes, Jonathan Rigg, Alessandro Rippa, June Wang, and Tim Winter, with an introduction by Shaun Lin and Yang Yang.

Verge: Studies in Global Asias Vol. 6.2, 2020. Infrastructures and Global Political Aesthetics. Articles by Carrie Cushman and Nicholas Risteen, Jessamyn R. Abel and Leo Coleman, Corey Byrnes, Mubbashir Rizvi, Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda, Xiao Liu and Shuang Shen, Raja Adal, Ram Bhat, Elmo Gonzaga, Gabriele de Seta, Alessandro Rippa, Galen Murton and Matthäus Rest, Edward Boyle and Sara Shneiderman, Philippe Messier, Joanne Leow. INTRODUCTION AVAILABLE OPEN ACCESS

Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space Vol. 38.5 (August 2020). Symposium: Politics and spaces of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Introduction by James Sidaway, Simon Rowedder, Chih Yuan Woon, Weiqiang Lin, and Vatthana Pholsena. Articles by Håkan Wahlquist, Tim Summers, Henryk Alff, Andrew Carruthers, Shaun Lin and Carl Grundy-Warr, Hasan Karrar and Till Mostowlansky, and Galen Murton. INTRODUCTION AVAILABLE OPEN ACCESS

Political Geography. 2020. Special Issue: China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Views from the Ground. Articles by Andrew Grant, Michael Dwyer, Mia Bennett, Galen Murton, Austin Lord, Xiao Han, Michael Webber, Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi, Henryk Szadziewski, and Igor Rogelja. Introduction by Gustavo de L.T. Oliveira, Galen Murton, Alessandro Rippa, Tyler Harlen, and Yang Yang.

Parag Khanna. 2020. All Roads Need Not Lead to China. Noéma (July 13th).

Paul Triolo & Allison Sherlock. 2020. ‘New infrastructure’ — China’s race for 5G and networked everything has a new catchphrase. SupChina (July 1st):

Eurasian Geography and Economics Vol. 61.2, 2020: Research Colloquium: Financing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Articles by Karen P. Y. Lai, Shaun Lin & James D. Sidaway, Michael Dunford, Weidong Liu, Yajing Zhang & Wei Xiong, Tim Summers, Simon Rowedder. AVAILABLE OPEN ACCESS

Eurasian Geography and Economics Vol. 61.1, 2020: Exploring China’s borderlands in an era of BRI-induced change. Articles by Max D. Woodworth & Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi, Thomas White, Karin Dean, Alessandro Rippa, Madlen Kobi and Karolina Koziol.

Michael Dwyer. 2019. “They will not automatically benefit”: The politics of infrastructure development in Laos’s Northern Economic Corridor. Political Geography 78.

Shen Jie & Wu Fulong. 2019. Paving the way to growth: transit-oriented development as a financing instrument for Shanghai’s post-suburbanization. Urban Geography.

Zhao Hong. 2019. China-Japan compete for infrastructure investment in Southeast Asia: geopolitical rivalry or healthy competition? Journal of Contemporary China Vol. 28, No. 118, 558-574.


Sixth Tone: “Can Chinese Companies Make it in Southeast Asia?” (November 18th, 2020)

Foreign Policy: “The Pakistan Army’s Belt & Road Putsch” (August 26th, 2020)

The Irrawaddy: “China’s Strategic Port Project Moves Step Closer to Reality as Myanmar OKs Joint Venture” (August 10, 2020)

The New York Times: “China tries its favorite economic cure: more construction” (July 30, 2020)

China Dialogue: “Bungled Jakarta-Bandung high speed rail line causes chaos” (July 28, 2020)

Post Magazine: “In the Brazilian Amazon, China is buyer, trader, lender, builder – to potentially devastating effect” (June 14, 2020)

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Environing Infrastructure: Communities, Ecologies, and China’s “Green” Development in Contemporary Southeast Asia, a five-year research project (2020-2025) funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. It is carried out by a team of researchers based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich. It focuses on the environmental components of Chinese large-scale infrastructure development in Southeast Asia.

People’s Map of Global China: The People’s Map of Global China tracks China’s complex and rapidly changing international activities by engaging an equally global civil society. Using an interactive, open access, and online ‘map’ format, we collaborate with nongovernmental organisations, journalists, trade unions, academics, and the public at large to provide updated and updatable information on various dimensions of Global China in their localities. The Map consists of profiles of countries and projects, sortable by project parameters, Chinese companies and banks involved, and their social, political, and environmental impacts. This bottom-up, collaborative initiative seeks to provide a platform for the articulation of local voices often marginalised by political and business elites. It is our hope that the information collected by this networked global civil society will be a useful resource for policymaking, research, and international advocacy.

The Global China Center (GCC) at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology focuses on advancing a new paradigm of China Studies, in alignment with China’s global impacts and integration today. Established in mid-2019 and housed within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Center seeks to foster interdisciplinary and multi-method research and teaching on global China. Leveraging Hong Kong’s international reputation and position as a global city, GCC is a world-class hub of cutting-edge scholarship and education on global China.

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Reconnecting Asia: Reconnecting Asia maps new linkages—roads, railways, and other infrastructure—that are reshaping economic and geopolitical realities across the continent. Through data curation and objective analysis, the project aims to fill Asia’s infrastructure-information gap, squaring lofty ambitions with facts on the ground. Our methodology explains the science and art behind these efforts.


Making Modernity in East Asia: The main objective of Making Modernity in East Asia is to establish a new, interdisciplinary way of understanding East Asian modernity through the lens of everyday technology. Our focus on everyday technologies – the ordinary, unglamorous and widespread technologies used in our everyday life – shifts the emphasis from old, exhausted questions on “who invented what first”, or “technological failure, imitation or catching up”, to how technology was and is put to use in East Asia. The research team’s ambition is to build a sustainable platform to synergies research on this topic that has never been treated systematically, and to create in four years an Area of Excellence which will make Hong Kong the world research center for the study of technology and East Asian society. The project is affiliated with Hong Kong University.

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Road Work Asia: ‘ROADWORK: An Anthropology of Infrastructure at China’s Inner Asian Borders’ is a four-year research project (2018-2022) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and based at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the University of Zurich. The project team will conduct ethnographic fieldwork along roads that have been designated as key links at the Sino-Inner Asian interface of the China-initiated Silk Road Economic Belt. Archival research and GIS analysis, two further research methods employed by the team, will help to identify social relations and temporalities that are difficult to capture through ethnography, but which nonetheless powerfully affect roads and travel in this region of Asia. The conceptual aim of the project is to propose a novel framework to theorize the social life of roads through a dialogue with the concepts of place and time, and to bring decay and maintenance to the centre of anthropological enquiry.

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