Case studies on transport infrastructure projects in belt and road initiative : An actor network theory perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

8 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Journal / PublicationJournal of Transport Geography
Online published31 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


This article is a new attempt to apply the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a qualitative analytical framework for examining the possible roles played by multilateral platforms in facilitating cross-border transport infrastructural projects at regional/continental scale. Given its magnitude, diversity and uniqueness, the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, as a multi-country platform along the contemporary Eurasia trade routes, underpins our diagnoses. The Chinese government posited B&R Initiative as an economic prescription which is premised on the provision of infrastructural connectivity across the Eurasia continent. By treating human and non-human elements symmetrically, ANT possesses wide scope elasticity that helps describe the dynamic interrelationships among various actors/actants, including the ways how government and state-controlled actors rationalized cross-border infrastructure projects by anchoring discourses about the thriving B&R network. Based on the analyses of three case studies, we argue that B&R Initiative has been a catalyst and obligatory passage point (OPP) for facilitating transnational transport infrastructure projects in garnering required resources and supports, though its efficacy might be subdued by other factors such as political contentions.