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The Belt and Road Initiative's stress on cross-Eurasian connectivity has challenged conventional geographies of development. As the US, EU and others respond, this panel examines questions of complementarity, competition and contradiction among development actors across the Eurasian landmass.
The centrality of trans-Eurasian infrastructure networks within China's Belt and Road Initiative confounds traditional North-South geographies of development. Chinese actors' efforts at development engagement across Eurasia have encompassed countries with divergent development needs and socio-economic contexts, including many post-socialist states not conventionally classed as 'southern'.
The distinctive modalities of this Chinese development co-operation- with its claimed 'win-win' emphasis on bilateral loans, large infrastructure projects and connectivity- are now relatively well known. But as the US, India, Japan, Russia and the EU have all responded to China's growing presence by launching or extending their own development programmes across various parts of Eurasia, new questions arise around the potential for both competition and complementarity among these efforts, as well as their implications for local actors.
The panel welcomes papers on any aspect of this fast-evolving space of development cooperation and contestation, including, but not limited to:
- Infrastructure development, project financing, lending and sovereign debt
- Emerging transnational networks and flows of production, trade, investment, transport and energy
- Case studies and comparisons- between 'donors' (e.g. Chinese vs EU development cooperation in Central Asia, AIIB vs ADB) and 'recipients' (e.g. Iran vs Pakistan), or regional comparisons (e.g. the Balkans vs the Caucuses)
- Questions of convergence and divergence among (i) Chinese/US/EU/Russian/Indian/Japanese (among others) development strategies across Eurasia; (ii) socio-economic inequalities both within and between regions;
- National and sub-national social/political/economic/environmental effects and contestations
- New theoretical and conceptual approaches to Eurasian development, Chinese externalisation and multipolar development cooperation