Building gravy trains or ghost towns? Exploring speculations around the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Northern Pakistan
Ariell Ahearn Ligham (Oxford University)
Paper short abstract:
The article examines the particular form of development embodied by China Pakistan Economic Corridor and the double meaning of speculative investments that this development has provoked in the high mountain communities of the Pamir and Karakorum regions of N. Pakistan.
Paper long abstract:
This article interrogates discourses of development around the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Northern Pakistan. As the current centrepiece of the Chinese One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, CPEC consists of a $46 billon dollar plus commitment to upgrade and build new infrastructure, energy projects, free trade zones and more across the entire length of Pakistan. The scale of this investment is the largest commitment by China in any single country, matched by a frenzied speed of government-to-government contracting which has left much of the public speculating about what is to come. The article examines the double meaning of speculative investments that this development has provoked in the high mountain communities of the Pamir and Karakorum regions of N. Pakistan and the particular material visions of the future that it provokes.
The spectres, spectacle and speculation of infrastructure - tracing the moralities of movement along energy corridors.