International Perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative : A Bottom-Up Approach book cover
1st Edition

International Perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative
A Bottom-Up Approach

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367761813
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
352 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

International Perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative investigates the most significant global‐scale international trade expansion and capital investment programme since the Second World War.

This book focusses on the multi-national perspectives of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in order to interrogate the Chinese government’s representation of it as a symbol of "peace, cooperation, development and mutual benefit." With specific focus on the interrelationship between geopolitics, infrastructure investments and urban regional development, the book reflects on 12 countries’ experiences in depth, including those of Iran, Pakistan, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Ethiopia, specificly to their economic development levels, political systems, power dynamics and socio-environmental issues. The book clarifies and contributes new knowledge on the nature of BRI concerning its relationship to globalism, neo-colonialism, the notion of developed vs developing countries and their institutions and macro-micro benefits and impacts. In doing so, the book offers a balanced account of the antagonistic geo-political narrative of socio-political conflict and the collaborative framework of real socio-economic flows and development.

The book will appeal to academics, researchers and policy-makers with an interest in the BRI and its impacts on politico-economic development and urban, regional and spatial systems in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

Table of Contents

Section I. Background  1. Re-imagining the Silk Road for the 21st Century  2. BRI from within China: Vision, Rationale, and the "Corridors".  3. BRI from within China: Mechanisms, Institutions, and Media Representations.  Section II. International Context, analysis and outcome  4. Urban Development Challenges under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)  5. Inter-continental transport networks and Asian Economic Corridor for the Korean Peninsula  6. Establishing BRI in Thailand: Contrasting "desire lines" in the delivery of two high-speed rail projects  7. Malaysia: Chinese participation in infrastructure from contractor to conspirator?  8. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Cambodia  9. The Production of Megaprojects in Java: Colonialism, Nationalism, Development Centralisation Vs Decentralisation  10. Belt and Road Initiative in Iran: Urban-Regional Dialogue in Two Corridors and Three Cities  11. The Critical Need for Urban Planning around Port Vila’s BRI Projects  12. Ethiopia: The Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway  13. Strengthening Brazil’s food system: can China’s Belt and Road help?  14. Challenges and Opportunities to Port Development with BRI in Japan  Section III. Comparative perspectives: a bottom-up approach  15. International Perspectives of the BRI: New, Unfolding Globalisation

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Sidh Sintusingha is Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and coordinator of its postgraduate programme in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Hao Wu is Senior Lecturer in Property in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Wenqi Lin is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design in the School of Architecture and Chief Planner of Urban Planning and Design Institute at Tsinghua University, China.

Sun Sheng Han is Professor of Urban Planning in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Bo Qin is Professor of Urban Planning and Management in the School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China.


"As a framework for a fundamentally new form of cooperation between radically different economies, polities and societies, the Belt and Road Initiative would seek to recast the political-economic geography of the twenty-first century. The essays of this volume take the reader through the vast diversity of perspectives on this ideal. It is a provocatively informative read."

Ross King, author of Seoul and Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya

"Using a bottom-up approach, this book is undoubtedly an encyclopaedic masterpiece about the Belt and Road Initiative, which is rich in basic information and perspectives, written by specialist experts of specific countries. This book offers an in-depth interpretation of the re-globalisation, the role of China and recipient nations, the world’s geopolitical economy, and the driving forces of future world development."

Chaolin Gu, Tsinghua University

"The latest book on the global 'new Silk Road' constitutes a stimulating and timely effort. The multi-disciplinary assessment studies provide amazing insights from twelve countries. The key words of mutual benefits, cooperation and peace are balanced against the notion of Chinese neo-colonialism. China’s 'mapping of globalization' has not reached a period of full impact on the entire world yet, but future studies might show whether it is ultimately as beneficial as the authors and editors expect in this remarkable new book."

H. Detlef Kammeier, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok

"China's Belt and Road Initiative is a major force for political and economic change, both in South East-Asia and beyond. Some view it as wholly beneficial, others as deeply worrying. This book provides a valuable balanced, critical, bottom-up approach which examines the impact and reactions to the BRI in a variety of countries."

Chris Hamnett, FAcSS FRSA FKC