Nick Sundin: “Classical and Critical Geopolitics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Examining US/Chinese Discourses on Belt and Road”

In Students by General Account

This research considers the key question around China’s Belt and Road Initiative from the perspective of geopolitics – whether it poses a challenge to US hegemony – by examining US and Chinese official/non-official discourses on BRI. It seeks to explore how US and Chinese actors view the geopolitical landscape of BRI as terrain for great power competition or cooperation, through a combination of intertextual discourse analysis and elite interviews. Thus, this research offers new perspectives on the debate “Can China Rise Peacefully?”, while bridging the gap between the classical and critical branches of geopolitics by combining the realist focus of the former with discourse analysis of the latter. It also brings the “geographies of peace” framework into conversation with the literature on China’s rise, exploring different conceptions and uses of the concept of peace by the various geopolitical actors.